Don’t Forget the Orange Leaf “YogAurt” being held this Saturday in Lexington. Namaste and no-fat yogurt. What could be better?
Coach Cal discusses another significant day in the program’s history:
That’s one of the toughest days I have is that Draft Day. Your worry is that a young man won’t get drafted or he’ll slip in his draft position. No one knows and to say you do know, well, you don’t. NO ONE knows anything.
I sat there with Enes and Brandon (in the Green Room at the Prudential Center) – their tables were side by side – and I was physically ill because I was making calls. I had been anxious all day.
By the time I landed in New Jersey on Thursday afternoon I was sure that either Brandon or Enes would go No. 3. I had talked to four clubs about what would happen if Enes went 3, where would Brandon go but no one would commit to where that was as I was calling around.
After Brandon was chosen at No. 8, I sat with his family at the table and I said, “Our ego wanted him to go at 3, 4 or 5 but at the end of the day he’s in a great situation with a terrific organization led by Joe Dumars and his staff and again, fate intervened. Tayshawn (Prince) is not only one of the great players in the NBA, but a great person to help teach Brandon what it means to be professional. I know they’ve already met during open gym at the Craft Center.”
Enes, the same thing. The Millers are a super ownership group and I loved what Enes said about the Big Blue Nation. For all our UK fans, this was another big, big night where all four players were drafted. I was glad to see the NBA recognize Enes as from UK and Turkey. I guess some outlets didn’t recognize him as part of our family. But Enes recognizes that he is from UK and that’s more important.
On Josh and DeAndre, I had a really good feeling about Josh and we knew New York loved him. They had told us his workout blew them away. I knew Boston and some other teams that really wanted him and were going to try and move up. In fact, there was another team willing to buy a pick to move up for Josh.
Think about what I’m saying – what a transformation! Josh changed his body, his attitude, his approach and his skillset. He changed his belief in himself all through hard work and knowing that when the tide rises, everyone is able to reach their dreams.
If you think you don’t have to work to get drafted then you are fooling yourself. It’s the most competitive thing I’ve ever seen – no one is just handed a draft position. They must earn it.
DeAndre was the one I was worried about because I knew he had great workouts with three or four organizations. He was going to have to be picked before some very good players with great credentials. And that was my worry with him. I knew that he could do it. I just didn’t know if the clubs knew him as well as I did.
I really believe the Kentucky Effect was in full force in this Draft. For us to have four of the top 53 picks this year and 5 of the top 29 last year? Wow! It’s about the entire Kentucky environment which includes our staff, our fans, our administration who invests in this program. It’s about our academic support staff led by Mike Stone that helped us earn a 3.14 Spring GPA with 9 players above a 3.0 and the highest APR in our conference. And our league which created a TV package second to none that puts us on TV and has us as the highest rated college basketball team in the nation. The Kentucky Effect is all of it – our school and our students; our city of Lexington and our state.
Do you realize one of the things that was accomplished this year was we had the highest level of applications ever for the incoming freshman class? We had over 14,000 applicants for 4,000 spots! We also doubled our licensing revenue last year and the Kentucky Effect even spreads to the NBA where our fans continue to support our family of players.
Lastly, let me apologhize to people in Pikeville and Hazard at today’s satellite camps – I simply had no energy to get back on a plane after 9 camps in six days and all the travel we’ve been doing. I’ll definitely get back to eastern Kentucky. I have been to Pikeville and Hazard many times and have close friends there, and will continue to be a fan of those great towns. Wherever there is coal, that’s where my heart is.
Thanks to everyone for all their camp support this week – love being out with the Big Blue Nation!
I’m going to spend some time with my family over the next few days but you’ll probably hear from me soon. Because when I get down time you know I think up some crazy thoughts!
Enjoy your weekend and Go Big Blue!