Kentucky's pitch well received by recruits 

November, 1, 2011
I can’t remember the first time I heard him say it, but since noticing it, I can’t get it out of my head. Kentucky coach John Calipari isn’t afraid to throw out, in public statements that he’s often encouraged kids to leave early. The way he says it is almost as if he’s surprised if kids come back. No question, he doesn’t mind the one-and-done player and to me, few head coaches are so accepting of the notion. In recruiting, Calipari has used that concept and it’s resonating with recruits like Willie Cauley (Spearville, Kan./Olathe NW).

“Nobody else is putting as many guys out each year,” Cauley said. “It goes in with their recruiting pitch but their big thing is they want your dreams to happen. They say that a lot. If you’re dreaming of making it big, that’s the place to go because you play against the best guys every day.”

Kentucky’s pitch to kids is if you’re ready to go, we’ll be the first ones to tell you to leave. Calipari wants guys to leave early and but also makes it clear that he wants guys who leave early to have success. There’s a difference between having a kid leave early and having multiple kids leave early and have early success in the NBA. Kentucky under Calipari has embraced the early entry players and as a result, they get a ton of them. There’s something to be said for knowing who you are, branding it and recruiting to it year in and year out. Whether or not Cauley is one-and-done doesn’t matter. What matters is the player thinks UK will put him in position and won’t mind telling him to leave when he’s ready.