Kentucky is for players who understand "the process to be great"

06/04/2015 04:51 PM

LEXINGTON — As wordsmith Mark Twain once penned, “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight” that matters. “It’s the size of the fight in the dog.”

Kentucky basketball head coach John Calipari said at a rare June press conference on Thursday morning that regardless of the number of stars or accolades to which a talented prospect can boast, the players who understand the process required to achieve greatness will see the benefit of playing in Lexington.

“I put this out there because I had heard LeBron had said it: Where his game changed when instead of worrying about being great, he was worried about the process to be great,” said Calipari to media members at Memorial Coliseum. “It changed him. That’s what happens here. If you’re into ‘I just want to show you what I can do,’ it’s hard. You’re going to be here with six, seven other guys that can all play.

“Some people think, ‘Well, my best chance of getting where I want to go is being the main guy and taking all the shots and playing all the minutes.’ Really? Ask Devin Booker. Really? But if you really believe that, and I’m not going to convince you of anything different, you won’t come here.”

Calipari and UK have been the subject of concern during the off-season recruiting months after uncharacteristically misfiring on a slew of top-rated prospects.

But with 19 NBA draft picks in his first five seasons at UK — not including the seven additional Wildcats who could be drafted on June 25th — it’s hard to argue with the Naismith Hall of Famer when he says he landing the right players.

“You have to admit that our guys in the league have had great success. They’re not flaming out. They’re not all max contracts, but more than anybody else I’d say.”

KSTV discussed Calipari’s comments on Thursday’s show, explaining why missing out on a few recruits won’t limit the Wildcats from having another successful season in 2015-16.

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