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When you’re selling the University of Kentucky basketball program–the history, the banners, the deepest and most adoring fan base on the planet–it makes recruiting just a little bit easier. You’d think. The recent past hadn’t seen a conveyor line of great talent streaming toward UK. And then John Calipari arrived and brought with him the first Kentucky dream team in some time. And these guys were already committed to Coach Cal, in part, because of his abilities as a great motivator. It’s a motivational style the coach continues using to this day.   

After Friday’s practice, the players returned to their lockers. They each found a piece of paper that speaks volumes not just about the game but about dealing with life in general. Coach Cal is one of the best communicators I have ever seen in college basketball. And I’ve seen a lot of college ball. His expertise at finding the best players would mean nothing if he wasn’t taking the hands-on and, sometimes, tough-love approach with the guys that he’s taken. Read the messages some of these Wildcats have posted on Twitter, for example, and you’ll see that they get it. They get him. And, most importantly, he gets them.

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