Basketball

John Calipari Names His Starting Five of Former Wildcats Currently in the NBA

John Calipari provided his starting five of former Kentucky players who are currently in the NBA to Bleacher Report earlier today.

“Well, Anthony Davis,” Calipari said. “John Wall. Karl Towns. I’d probably play DeMarcus Cousins and let Anthony be a 3. And what would the last position be? Shooting guard? I’d probably say Devin Booker.”




Do you agree with Cal’s starting five?

What would be your five?

Here’s more of Calipari’s thoughts from the article:

B/R: Yep, that’s my starting five too.

Calipari: But you still have Brandon [Knight]. You still have Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who is the X-factor, and he would be included on that team. You still have Eric Bledsoe, who, there may be games that he starts, just because of who he is. You still have Julius [Randle]. You still have Trey [Lyles].

Calipari and Anthony Davis at the 2012 ESPY Awards.
Calipari and Anthony Davis at the 2012 ESPY Awards.Jason Merritt/Getty Images

But as I’m telling you all these names—Brandon Knight, Eric Bledsoe, Julius Randle. They’re all max guys. You’d have a team of 10 or 12 max players. It can’t happen. But here’s what I’d like to have: My goal before I retire is 12 guys in the All-Star Game.

B/R: What’s the most you’ve had in an All-Star Game so far?

Calipari: Four. I’m including Derrick Rose [who played for Calipari at Memphis in 2007-08], so we’ve had four. But now it’s gotta be, let’s get Devin and Karl in there. Now you’re at six. Now you get the wave of guys that just got in. Where does Trey go with this? He’s not getting the minutes yet. What about a Jamal Murray when he’s playing big minutes? Does he have a chance? Then you have another wave of guys going in. And all the sudden you’re saying, man, maybe he could get to 12.

B/R: Malik Monk and De’Aaron Fox could be in that group someday.

Calipari: We’ve got another wave. Bam [Adebayo]. We’ve got another wave of guys coming through here. That would be neat. That is not hypothetical. That is real.

B/R: What do you think is the ideal NBA situation for DeMarcus? Coach, team, circumstances, all of it.

Calipari: First of all, it’s gotta be an organization and a coach he respects. And it’s gotta be an organization and a coach that are not afraid to coach him, that are not afraid of him, that want to coach him and make him be the best. And then it’s a situation where you can win.

Now would he have to be the main guy? No, but he’d have to be one of those two. It’d be him and somebody else, and he’d have to accept what the other guy is, and take great joy in—let me say this!—John Wall’s success. Or Eric Bledsoe’s success. He did it here. If it’s that kind of environment, yeah. And I think USA Basketball proved that. It did. But he’s gotta really respect what’s going on.

The problem with my guys, all my guys, they come in and improve themselves so fast in college, they go from He’s this and this to That kid is the first pick or second pick. Four. Five. Seven. Tell me about those teams: not great. So my guys are walking into bad situations. And those teams are lottery picks for a reason. It’s not just their players or their coaches—it’s the organization doesn’t get it right.

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