John Calipari confirms addition of two players at Arkansas: 'I like the team' | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Friday / July 12.
  • John Calipari confirms addition of two players at Arkansas: ‘I like the team’

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    John Calipari seems excited about his two newest additions and his overall roster at Arkansas.

    “And now we just got Melo and Jaden coming in as 10 and 11 [on the roster],” Calipari said Wednesday on the Pat McAfee Show.

    “I think we’re going to be alright, I like the team, gonna have to put them together,” he added. “We’re going to have to make them play together.”

    He added: “When my teams win, six guys get drafted. How about we win? Go to a Final Four, we win a national title. All six, seven of you will eat. We’re going to have four [Kentucky guys] in this draft. if we’d have won three games in the NCAA Tournament, we’d have had six, maybe seven, in the Draft. Winning matters.”

    As far as his additions, Calipari was referring to shooting guard Melo Sanchez of Division II Hawaii Pacific and wing Jaden Karuletwa of Village Christian High School in Sun Valley, Calif.

    The 6-foot-4 Sanchez averaged 14 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists per game the past two seasons while shooting 42% from the field and 40% from deep.

    The 6-6 Karuletwa scored 14 points, five rebounds and two assists on 43% shooting and 40% from deep.

    Calipari reiterated he wants to change his recruiting philosophy to get older to compete in the transfer portal and NIL era.

    “We started five freshmen and we went to the national championship game [in 2014],” he said Wednesday. “I think those days are done now. I don’t think you can do that when the other guy’s 25 years, old, 24, 26 and your guy’s 19.”

    Still, he added he wants to have “the best freshmen” and praised incoming frosh Karter Knox, Billy Richmond and Boogie Fland.

    “I think I got three outstanding freshmen this year that are going to have a chance to do their thing and be in this draft,” he said. “So I’m just trying to combine all this.”

    He also predicted big things for Kentucky transfers DJ Wagner, Zvonimir Ivisic and Adou Thiero.

    “You watch what happens for them given they have another year,” he said.

    For good measure, Calipari proceeded to spit out some NBA contract stats on his former Kentucky players.

    “Seventy percent of the players that we’ve recruited in the last 15 years have been drafted,” he said. “Seventy-three percent of those 70% have gotten to second contracts.

    “We have 30% of the max contracts [in the NBA] are my guys. Our kids have earned over $5 billion.”

    Calipari added that his ultimate goal in coaching is helping kids get to the pros where they can earn money — not necessarily in piling up wins and championships.

    “What I want on my tombstone is not wins and championships,” he said. “I want that he helped a lot of families.

    “I want to help like 30 more families and then I’ll be done. And if I do this right…all the winning, that happens. I don’t know how long that will be.”

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.

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