The best coaches in college basketball earn their lofty paychecks. They recruit top high school prospects; they install a winning culture that allows their teams to regularly compete for national championships; and most importantly — especially in today’s landscape — they have a track record of getting players to the NBA. While there are plenty of great college basketball coaches out there, few are able to achieve the above three things (particularly the last one) quite like Kentucky’s John Calipari.
Since taking his talents to Lexington in 2009–10, Calipari has returned the Wildcats to glory. He’s amassed a 238-52 record (.821 winning percentage), been to four Final Fours, and won a national championship in 2011–12. This man makes Kentucky the premier destination for players who aspire to compete at the next level. But the thing is, Coach Cal doesn’t just send players to the NBA; he sends superstars.
In an interview with Reid Forgrave, for Bleacher Report, Calipari discussed this topic by talking about what he likes to call “Coaching Extreme Talent.” At one point during the discussion, Forgrave asked him if he believed a team consisting of his ex-Kentucky players could win an NBA championship. As we’re sure you already guessed, if we discuss a hypothetical situation where the salary cap wasn’t an issue, then Calipari absolutely believes they could win a title. The remaining question: Which players would make the starting lineup?
Fortunately for us, Calipari had an answer to this question as well. See for yourself.