Credit: Stephen Dunn/Hartford Courant

Column: We Agree — Kentucky Isn’t Right for Everyone

Kentucky isn’t right for everyone.

Reverse psychology on a teenager?  Maybe.

But it seems Wildcat head coach John Calipari’s go to selling point is right.  It just may not always be for the same reason that he has been pitching to recruits through the years.

After going back and looking at Calipari’s recruiting classes since his arrival at Lexington in 2009, one thing seems clear — if you are not a top 15 recruit, and your goal is to jump to the NBA after one season — then Kentucky isn’t right for you.

The more apt description?  Kentucky is a gamble.  And you may not want to unpack your bags.

There is no doubt that if a top recruit like Anthony Davis or John Wall decides to play in Lexington, in just a few short months they will hear their names called in the NBA Draft.

Of course if the NBA rules allowed it, they would have accomplished that without ever going to Kentucky.  Every early draft board has supported that year in and year out.

But because of the rules, they need to sit in a holding pattern.  And few would argue that for those players, the University of Kentucky does a great job of serving as what is in essence a prep school.

But let’s be clear — they could have just as well played down the street at Transylvania University and accomplished the same thing.

It is a completely different story if you are outside of the top 15 and choose Kentucky.

The numbers say that there is almost no chance that you will be one-and-done.  Instead, you will be almost four times more likely to end up transferring as you wait for the opportunity to play and then get recruited over the next year.

John Calipari does a fine job working within the confines of the system and serving the needs of the best of the best.

But if you are going to Lexington outside of the top 15 believing that it is a one-size-fits-all program irrespective of your ranking, the facts suggest a much different story.

Out of the 26 players that we found to be ranked outside of the 247Sports Top 15, only two were full-time first year starters, only three were NBA one-and-dones, and eight ended up transferring.

Yes, it seems Coach Cal is correct.

Kentucky isn’t right for everyone.


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