A slightly scruffy John Calipari held court with some members of the media Wednesday at the Southeastern Conference Spring Meetings in Destin, Fla., and talked about a number of issues, including his thoughts on the one-and-done rule.
Videos of Calipari published by CatsIllustrated.com and SECCountry.com Wednesday didn’t reveal any hints as to the NBA decisions of players Jarred Vanderbilt, PJ Washington or Wenyen Gabriel, but did offer some insight into what he and other SEC officials were talking about this week.
Calipari supported some of the ideas, including travel to the NCAA Tournament for parents, more flexibility for training when players arrive on campus and other benefits.
“There has never been a better time to be a college basketball player. How we’re doing and treating kids — the NCAA has finally moved that big boat to them a little bit,” Calipari said. “Now, it’s not all the way there, but now, we’re coming back in August with some rules that will give us more time to work with them.”
On potential new rules, Calipari shrugged at ideas like quarters instead of halves, widening the lane, and moving back the three-point line …
“The only thing is how do we make the game consistent around the world. So, some of that stuff you’re talking about is more consistent with FIBA. Maybe it would be, but I don’t think it will change the game.”
On how a change to one-and-done will affect his program at Kentucky …
“I may have guys for two or three years, which would be awful (said with dramatic tongue-in-cheek pause). So, maybe 10 or 12 guys go (straight to the pros). That’s fine. If they’d say the guys that come back may leave after a year — if they could have left in a year, they would have left. And if that happens, that’s fine.
“Maybe I get back to my UMass days where you have guys for three and four years. It’d be fun. …
“Whatever the rules are, I’m fine with. If it stays one-and-done, which I believe it will for at least two more years, maybe longer."
Calipari also weighed in on Georgia’s hiring of his good friend Tom Crean, the former Indiana coach.
“I’m happy for him, because I believe Georgia is a great job, not a good job, it’s a great job. And it’s gotta be one of the top three jobs in our league. I believe so.”
When asked why? “Where it is. The facilities that it has. The school is unbelievable. … The campus is one of those places that the kids are proud to be there. You have Atlanta to recruit to.”