University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari has long had a smart strategy for recruiting the best players in the country to play for him, if only for one season.
Calipari promises exposure on the game’s biggest stage, while featuring those star players in a system that will get them noticed by NBA executives.
Now, it appears, Calipari is taking his college-to-the-pros pipeline to the next level, by planning to host NBA front office folks for a preseason scouting combine on campus.
University of Kentucky coach John Calipari is finalizing plans for an unprecedented two-day campus scouting combine for NBA executives to evaluate his star-laden roster of professional prospects, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Calipari has invited officials of the 30 NBA teams to send personnel to Lexington, Ky., on Oct. 11-12 to watch his players do everything from run full-court five-on-five and NBA-style pick-and-roll sets to individual skill work.
The event is a chance for Calipari to impress a throng of top high school recruits on campus visits and once again frame his program as college basketball’s best NBA feeder system. Kentucky is expected to be a consensus preseason No. 1 in the polls.
After the combine, Calipari plans to shut out NBA executives and scouts from his practices for several weeks – perhaps even months – into the season, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
NBA executives aren’t permitted to talk with the college players, but will get a rare chance to see Calipari’s team in action in a private setting.
Teams will certainly show for this, but scouting players before the college season even begins offers only a small level of insight into their NBA readiness. This is about Calipari continuing to build his reputation as the top choice for players with NBA aspirations, and not much else.