Pratt on board early with Calipari hire

Mike Pratt didn't have to be convinced that John Calipari was the right hire for the University of Kentucky.

Mike Pratt didn't have to be convinced that John Calipari was the right hire for the University of Kentucky.

"I was on board because I have some friends that know him well and some that work with him. I follow his career and have always been impressed," said Pratt.

How impressed?

"Two years ago there was an article in Sports Illustrated about his dribble-drive offense and I saved it for research," Pratt said. "I thought when I read it then how much players would like to play in that system and how attractive that has to be to kids.

"I got it out again just to read it when the UK job opened up. I was up to speed on Cal. He didn't need to say a lot to convince me he was the right guy."

Pratt, a former UK All-American and the analyst on the UK Radio Network, consulted with UK president Lee Todd and athletics director Mitch Barnhart on the coaching search after they decided to fire Billy Gillispie.

He was there when Todd and Barnhart met with Calipari for the first time last weekend. "He was very well prepared about what was good, bad and ugly about UK now and in the past," Pratt said. "He asked all the right questions and I could tell he wanted to be there. That got me excited. He was so prepared that it jumped out and screamed at me that he wanted to be at Kentucky."

Pratt never got that impression from Gillispie, who was 40-27 in his two years at Kentucky. "I never had that same feeling that Billy was that way. I was not around him that much. I went to his first press conference and never got to meet him. I just watched and listened the last two years," Pratt said. "I just never felt he was really comfortable with the job."


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