Calipari discusses the next great recruiting class

ESPN’s Andy Katz posted a story today about next year’s recruiting class for UK, in which John Calipari discussed the individual players, how playing together already will help them as they adjust to the college game together, and that he’s been told that it’s the greatest recruiting class ever — but they have to prove it. Some key quotes about the quartet of Anthony Davis, Michael Gilchrist, Marquis Teague and Kyle Wiltjer:

  • “The greatest thing is that all four kids are great kids. It’ll be fun. They want to do this together. They take on a roll, a swagger and an arrogance, but that’s based on their talent. They’ve got a ways to go. They all want to win, not just want to play.”
  • “We’re going to be in good shape. These guys all like each other. They’ve played together or against each other in the McDonald’s game, in the Summit game and will in the Jordan game. If Brandon [Knight] chooses to come back, then he and Marquis can play together. We only had one point guard (this past season) and we were lucky there was no foul trouble or no injury. We didn’t have any issues. We had a bunch of good players. I don’t have problems dealing with egos because I go right after them. We had a trip to Canada, and then three months before this past team got it together. How quickly this one will? I don’t know. But I do think it will happen faster because those four (freshmen) have been playing together and I’m coaching guys who have been here.”
  • “Michael brings a viciousness to his game, a desire to get balls and get to the rim and a toughness. Anthony brings a skill level, a [Marcus] Camby-esqueness to him where we can press more and run the lanes more. Marquis Teague brings speed and a physical athleticism to the guards spot. And then there is Kyle Wiltjer and he has a skill level where we just have to figure out how to plug him into the system and dribble drive. Do we have him trail like a Larry Bird, pick-and-rolls and use his great passing, too? Where do you play him to take advantage of his skill and shooting ability? Anthony and Kyle can really shoot the ball so that gives us two more scorers.”
  • “This team will be deep and can shoot. That will be nice to have. I’ve heard it’s the best recruiting class I’ve ever had. But let’s let them play. Even before they play, they are one of the best. If they’re the best, they’ll have to perform on the basketball court.”

The four recruits just played in the Nike Hoops Summit (and before that, the McDonald’s game) and will play again in the Jordan Brand Classic on April 16. Stats from those games can be found here.

The full ESPN story can be found here.