Most years, John Calipari sends a decent amount of his players to the NBA. This fall, the Kentucky coach is bringing the NBA to his team.
According to a report by Adrian Wojnarowski, the 55-year-old Wildcats' leader is attempting to finalize plans for a two-day NBA combine-type event in Lexington. The two-day camp will allow an abundance of NBA scouts to come to Kentucky to evaluate his players. Following the combine--which is an unprecedented move by a college coach--Calipari plans on shutting scouts out of his practice for the near future.
From Wojnarowski's report:
Calipari has invited officials of the 30 NBA teams to send personnel to Lexington, Ky., on Oct. 11-12 to watch his players do everything from run full-court five-on-five and NBA-style pick-and-roll sets to individual skill work.
Calipari and his staff have been in contact with NBA executives on the format of the two-day event. Kentucky is expected to run double sessions of practice and workouts on Oct. 12 before closing off access to NBA teams for the foreseeable future.
Kentucky, the consensus preseason No. 1 team in the country for 2014-15, has as much NBA talent as any college team.
NBADraft.net's 2015 NBA mock draft includes six Wildcats: Karl Towns (No. 4), Willie Cauley-Stein (No. 15), Andrew Harrison (No. 31), Alex Poythress (No. 32), Dakari Johnson (No. 35), and Aaron Harrison (No. 43). The site's 2016 NBA mock draft includes three more Kentucky players: Marcus Lee (No. 7), Trey Lyles (No. 15), and Devin Booker (No. 17).
It comes as no surprise that Calipari is leading the way with this type of event. No college coach is better at getting their players to the league. Since Calipari became the coach at Kentucky, 19 Wildcats have been drafted.
This, also, is a great recruiting move, allowing Calipari, yet again, to tell high school prospects no one will try harder to get you to the NBA than me. One NBA executive even joked to Wojnarowski about this, saying, "We're just there as B-roll for his recruiting videos."