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Coach Cal’s Week: Thoughts After a UK Practice AND Hanging Out at ESPN [VIDEO]

Let’s break down a couple of highlights of the past week for UK Coach John Calipari. He was a guest on ESPN’s First Take with Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless. And he gave his thoughts on video after the first practice with the new Wildcats.

This past Sunday, basketball teams around the country were allowed to practice for the first time. This is the new earlier start time, moved up from October.

As is typical with Coach Cal, he immediately downplayed all the hype surrounding his incoming class of freshmen, one of the best I’ve ever seen, and perhaps the best recruiting class of all time. It’s an embarrassment of riches, as they say.

But the coach was quick to let everyone visiting his website know that this a long and winding road, with all due respect to Paul McCartney and the late John Lennon. But he also knows he has extraordinary talent at his disposal, and he knows what to do with that kind of talent. Plus, he’s got two talented guys coming back. But this is Coach Cal being Coach Cal.

We really shouldn’t expect anything different.

Same goes for his relationship with the talking heads at ESPN who love to have John Calipari in the studio. I’m not clear what the nature of the relationship is, but Stephen A. Smith and the coach go way back, and it’s clear they’re having a little fun with each other, maybe even at each other’s expense. And, of course, Skip Bayless is just enjoying the ride.

I know it’s September and it’s been suggested that we should probably get at least a month into football before basketball talk.

Sorry, whoever. This is the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Two of the best basketball teams in the country reside within its borders. Two others–Eastern Kentucky and Western Kentucky–have recently been projected as the winners of their respective conferences by Sporting News Magazine and its invaluable college basketball preview.

I know it’s football season. But that only means basketball season’s next. And, trust me, I can do both.


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