[to top of second column]
"I said this a couple of years ago and everybody got crazy when we had five guys drafted in the first round -- this is one of the biggest moments, if not the biggest, in Kentucky history," Calipari said. "The reason was, I knew now other kids would look and say, 'You got to go there.' What I'm hoping is there's six first-rounders on this team. We were the first program to have five, let's have six.
"That's why I've got to go recruiting on Friday."
Darius Miller is the only player guaranteed to leave. The holdover from the disastrous Billy Gillispie era earned his way into a starting role before losing it this year to yet another talented freshman. Still, he left his mark with a school-record 152 appearances.
Freshmen Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Marquis Teague, as well as sophomores Doron Lamb and Terrence Jones, all have until April 29 to decide about their NBA futures. But for all the criticism that a team this young could never win it all, Kentucky proved them wrong.
"What a lesson for these young people, that if you share, you give up some of yourself for everyone around you, if you care more about your teammates than yourself, it's amazing what you can accomplish," the coach said.
His players love him for his fierce loyalty, especially Jones despite sometimes bearing the brunt of the coach's harshest criticism.
"He gives us so much credit any time we win, and he'll take all the fault if anything goes wrong," Jones said. "Just to win for him is something special."
Calipari said he's never watched the tape of Memphis' 2008 title loss to Kansas or last year's loss to Connecticut in the semifinals. He said he's planning to catch this one again and has one more goal he'd like to reach -- a perfect 40-0 season.
"The reason is they say it can't be done," he said. "Well, let's go do it."
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
< Sports index
Back to top
News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching & Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries
Law & Courts |
Spiritual Life |
Health & Fitness |
Calendar | Letters to the Editor