‘Couldn’t Give A Damn’- De’Aaron Fox Reveals Insight into Kentucky Wildcats’ Head Coach’s Philosophy Around Developing Players

Published 01/20/2021, 2:30 PM EST


The Kentucky Wildcats are one of the most respected NCAA Basketball programs in the country. One of the reasons for this is their coach John Calipari and his focus on developing his players into high-quality NBA players.

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De’Aaron Fox spent a year with Coach Cal in 2017 and expanded upon how Calipari approaches the college game. “Man, it was great. I love Cal. I still talk to Cal to this day. He lets you rock.

“That’s why he wants guards like John (Wall) and myself and B-Knight, Tyler Ulis. The way that he coaches, it’s like absolute freedom.

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“He’ll put X’s and O’s but at the end of the day, everything’s going to end up in a pick and roll or isolation. That’s what the NBA is too.

“Cal couldn’t give a damn about winning college basketball games. If he is getting guys who get knows will develop into NBA players, you are automatically going to win 30 games a year just on that alone.

“You came in, he made you work, and at the end of the day. I was a top-five pick, and Bam and Malik were lottery picks.”

Kentucky Wildcats: Their system catching up with them?

It is no secret that the Wildcats are having one dull season this year. They are under .500 and some are projecting them to miss the NCAA Tournament.

The Wildcats haven’t been ranked in the AP Top 25 this season after the first few weeks. The team is on hard times, and one of the reasons is because they do not have players’ experienced in NCAA Basketball.

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Dec 6, 2020; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari yells at players against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the first half at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Calipari hasn’t had time to help his players ease into college basketball. With COVID protocols and the odd season layout, players haven’t gotten as much practice time as they usually did.

High ranked players like BJ Boston and Terrence Clark haven’t imbibed the system just yet and that is what has slowed this team down.

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Coach Calipari keeps his teams transient. However, this strategy may have already come back to bite him. Hopefully, he can turn it around this season or at least avoid the same next season.

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Ishaan Bhattacharya

1459 articles

Ishaan Bhattacharya is an NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Combat Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Currently, Ishaan is pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication. Previously, Ishaan has written for The Indian Express, The Quint, Sportskeeda, and WrestleClub.

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