John Calipari on Kentucky basketball: 'There is no socialism here'

By Alex Butler  |  Updated Jan. 23, 2018 at 1:21 PM
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Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Coach John Calipari recently explained his recruiting pitch to reporters, saying there is no socialism in the Kentucky basketball program.

Calipari made the comments on Monday, when asked about recruiting.

The comments come on the heels of Duke locking up the top three players in the class of 2018. The Blue Devils already had the No. 1 player, R.J. Barrett, and No. 3 player, Cam Reddish, before Spartanburg Day School product Zion Williamson announced his decision to join the star-studded class on Saturday.

The Wildcats have commitments so far from the No. 6 player, No. 17 player and No. 25 player in the 2018 ESPN 100 rankings.

"My concern is, whoever we get here, how do we help them to be the best version of themselves, both on and off the court? How do we send them off from here after a year, two years, three years, four, whatever, with a basis to have success both on and off the court, where they can be involved in their communities and where it's not just solely basketball," Calipari told reporters at his news conference. "How they can count on themselves?"

"Everyone of us in this country is based on, you've got to take care of yourself. And then when you make it, you make sure you're helping. And along the way, you're bringing other people with you. That's what we're trying to do. Just give these guys the best opportunity. We're not trying to say this university and this state will take care of you the rest of your life. There's no socialism here. This stuff is, you've gotta go do it and we're going to help you do it. Some like that, some don't like that."

Duke had four players ranked inside the top eight in the class of 2017 and two of the top three in the class of 2016. Kentucky had five players in the top nine in the class of 2013.

Calipari said he didn't think the recruiting landscape has changed since he got to Kentucky.

"We don't get every kid," Calipari said. "We get the ones that need to come here. Others choose not to. And that's fine. That's their choice."

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