Joe Hall: Recruiting makes a Program

Former Kentucky coach Joe Hall was a relentless recruiter who often brought some of the nation's top blue-chip players to play for the Wildcats. Hall, 80, now frequently attends Kentucky games and occasionally is invited to practice by current UK coach Billy Gillispie. So I wondered what he thought about UK going 11 years without a Final Four berth.

"I really don't know what has happened. It seems like we are not in contention for the national top high school players like we were. There is no question you coach better when you have good talent no matter who you are," Hall said.

"The fact that four different coaches have won a championship here at Kentucky tells you what kind of program it is. We just need to get those top national kids in here playing for the Wildcats. That is the big difference I see." So what has happened? Why are more top national prospects not flocking to play for the Wildcats?

"When I was coaching and following coach (Adolph) Rupp, the program was at a pinnacle. You were welcomed into any home. You didn't have to sell the program. The program was recognized anywhere you went in the nation and you had an opportunity to at least talk and show what you had to any player,' Hall said.

"Here at Kentucky you have that tradition. We are the winningest program in NCAA basketball Division I. That's big. We have great facilities. We have a beautiful community to sell to parents. We have got everything academically, health-wise, food-wise. Anything that a parent would want to see their child be part of, we have it. We should be selling that to the top athletes in the nation."

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Read more with Hall in a future Kentucky Sports Report magazine.

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