Derek Anderson, a former Kentucky men’s basketball player, does not appear to be too fond of the Wildcats’ current coach, John Calipari.
The 40-year-old former UK star, who played in the NBA for more than 10 years, made an appearance today on ESPN 680, a popular Louisville radio station.
Anderson proceeded to criticize Calipari’s coaching and the way he is “running” players off to the next level. Here’s some of what he said:
“If Coach Cal wanted to keep these kids and develop them, he should tell them that,” Anderson told host Drew Deener. “He’s just running them in and out. It’s not him, it’s not just him, it’s the parents. If my son is supposed to go second round, ‘Son, you need to stay in school, get your degree in case something happens, and also finish the job. Make sure you make these people know you can actually play.’ They’re just running them out of here. Like Dakari Johnson. I hope he makes it, but he’s a 7-footer who can’t jump. What’s he going to do with no degree when he’s done in two years?”
“Last year, when we went to the Final Four with (Julius) Randle and them, it was because of pure talent, and the reason we lost? Coaching,” Anderson said. “Why did Louisville beat (UConn) by 30? They pressured their guards. We let the kid Shabazz Napier – he walked the ball up and just shot in our face the whole night. I’m like, did you not watch the tape of Louisville beating them? They pressured these guys.”
Anderson seems to be pretty off here, especially regarding the NBA comments. Calipari is known to not push his players in either direction – back to school or off to the pros. And that’s part of the reason why he’s so beloved by recruits; he gives them the support to make whatever decision they want to.
Perhaps the coaching comment is somewhat valid – Kentucky probably did have more talent than Connecticut – but that was just one game. The Wildcats have made four Final Fours under Calipari’s leadership, after all.
What do you think, Kentucky fans? Is Anderson’s criticism valid in any way?