Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

NBA Draft success fueling blue-chip Calipari recruiting classes at Kentucky


This Obvious News of the Day is brought to you by the four first-round picks that Kentucky had in the 2012 NBA Draft.

With Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist walking across the stage as the first- and second-overall picks Thursday night, Calipari has now laid groundwork for recruiting success even farther into the future.

The word has been spreading around social media in recent days, and it seems to ring true: “If Calipari offers you a scholarship, he often believes you have the potential to be a first-round pick.”

It began with John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins at Kentucky, it continues with Davis and Kidd-Gilchrist, and it will likely follow suit in 2013, with blue-chip prospects Nerlens Noel, Alex Poythress, and Archie Goodwin joining the Wildcats from the Class of 2012.

“I just told you three years ago, ‘Let’s make this the gold standard,’” Calipari told the Lexington Herald-Leader. “In three years, we’ll have 10 percent of the league,” he added with a bit of (understandable) hyperbole.

Criticism of Calipari is not difficult to come across, but he has clearly perfected a system now that it has culminated in a national championship.

But the reality is this: College is meant to prepare young people for a working career. Is that not exactly what Calipari and the Wildcats are doing?

Wall, Cousins, Davis, Kidd-Gilchrist, Marquis Teague, Terrence Jones, etc. All of these players have or will ink contracts that give them more money that they have ever seen (or many of us will ever see).

With financial planning, it could last them the rest of their lives. If I were a blue-chip recruit, why wouldn’t I want someone who has been proven to do that for his former players?

Bottom line: It’s difficult to beat.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_