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Olympic adventure over, Calipari back on recruiting trail


Mike Miller

John Calipari’s Dominican Republic national team fell one win short of qualifying for the 2012 London Games.

Now it’s back to more pressing matters -- securing another elite recruiting class.

The Kentucky coach wrote on his website Sunday about his basic outline for the week, how he’ll handle the latest recruiting visits and how he’s excited to start coaching the Wildcats again. As Gary Parrish noted, it’s foolish to worry or think that Calipari won’t secure yet another top-rated recruiting class – yes, UK doesn’t have any 2012 commitments – when recent history tells us he’s been better at doing just that than anyone else.

But it might be a little comforting to Big Blue Nation to read about his plan:

Now, what will I be doing now that this over? For the next six or seven days, I will be in homes and in schools of the recruits we’re involved with. I’ll be in Lexington for one day this week but I’ll be back on the road recruiting that night.

Even though I’ve been in South America for the last few days during the contact period, I did three home visits from the speakerphone. Obviously, it’s not as effective as sitting face to face, but I wanted those young people to know that even though I was coaching a national team, they were on the forefront of my mind.

We will have individual skill instruction sessions Wednesday, which I’ve been thinking about for two weeks. I can’t wait to get back at it with this team that I’ll be coaching. I miss those guys, and they know that. I’ve texted and talked to them all.

So what might that 2012 class look like? Jeff Borzello of breaks it down like this:
“The Wildcats are in best with Archie Goodwin [No. 6 in the Class of 2012 rankings], Alex Poythress [No. 14], Devonta Pollard [No. 18] and Willie Cauley [No. 47], and all four will be on campus for Big Blue Madness [on Oct. 14] -- along with Shabazz Muhammad [No. 1], DaJuan Coleman [No. 10] and T.J. Warren [No. 32]. They’re also heavily in the mix for guys like Mitch McGary [No. 3] and Perry Ellis [No. 27], and if Kentucky ends up with three or four of the aforementioned players, it’s another top-rated recruiting class for Calipari.”

Calipari will undoubtedly be a busy man until the season begins. But the payoff looks like it’ll be worth it. Again.

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