Success Rate

With the profusion of talent making its way to Lexington this fall, Kentucky coach John Calipari knows he'll once again have critics suggesting his program is more interested in keeping the one-and-done NBA assembly line rolling than producing well-rounded student-athletes.

With the profusion of talent making its way to Lexington this fall, Kentucky coach John Calipari knows he'll once again have critics suggesting his program is more interested in keeping the one-and-done NBA assembly line rolling than producing well-rounded student-athletes.

Calipari remains fiercely unapologetic and maintains that UK continues to hold the best interest of its players above all.

During his tenure at Kentucky, Calipari has produced 15 NBA draft picks and 10 college graduates.

"Twenty-five out of 25 players have either gotten their degrees or gone on to be pro basketball players," Calipari said. "That's the success rate."

Several players who were early entries to the NBA have made promises to return to school and finish their degrees. This summer Jodie Meeks, who elected to enter the draft just weeks after Calipari arrived in Lexington, is fulfilling that promise.

"When I was making my decision if I was going to leave school after my junior year, I told myself and my family that I was going to return to finish school," Meeks told Lakers.com. "I still have 18 hours left. I took a class in the summers of 2010 and 2011 and am taking one again, trying to chip away so that in a couple more summers I'll be done."

Many professional players use the offseason to take extravagant vacations or recover from the grind of an 82-plus game season. However, Meeks remains focused on earning a degree in marketing, something he will need for life after basketball.

"I'm doing a presentation right now about how to start a business, which is what I'm thinking about doing after basketball anyways," Meeks said.

The Lakers shooting guard was getting regular minutes for the injury-ravaged team before suffering a season-ending ankle injury of his own. The San Antonio Spurs knocked Los Angeles out in the first round. Meeks averaged eight points per game and shot 36 percent from 3-point range this season.

He plans on taking advantage of the world-class facilities provided at the Joe Craft Center as he recovers from his ankle injury and prepares for the 2013-14 NBA season. All while taking the necessary steps to become a college graduate and adding to the success rate at UK.

AllWildcats Top Stories