What's special about Calipari?

That's a question I recently posed to Calipari's three assistant coaches because I wondered how each would answer and how similar their responses might be.

What's special about John Calipari? What makes it fun to work for him?

That's a question I recently posed to Calipari's three assistant coaches because I wondered how each would answer and how similar their responses might be.

Here's what they said:

Rod Strickland: "He is a great coach. If you want to work under anyone, you want to work for the best because you have a goal to be the best you can be. There is nothing like working for one of the best coaches in basketball and get his insights, watch him, listen and learn. You can't beat that. It's invaluable what he teaches you."

Orlando Antigua: "Everything. Great man, unbelievable coach, great recruiter. Obviously, this offense is unbelievable and kids love to play. For me to see if some point down the road I want to be a head coach and have the knowledge to do it, there's no better training than under him. "Now we are expanding the recruiting base where we are not just recruiting regionally but recruiting nationally and that has been great.

Now recruiting is even crazier. We have to be very selective on who we go after and recruit. That is hard, too. You have to be on point with your evaluations and do your research. You have to know the kids you are recruiting now and the kind of kid that Coach wants to coach and when he sees them that he says that, too.

"It's hard. It's not hard in the fact in that you don't have to go out and recruit 150 kids like some programs have to, but it's hard in that you are recruiting with the elite of the elite. But Cal is a great closer and teacher. That's why it's great to work for him."

John Robic: " One, he gives you a lot of responsibility. He wants you to think as if you are a head coach. You are not going to see us at games keeping stats and charts. He wants you to coach and stay involved in the game.

"He allows all his coaches the freedom to have suggestions, but he wants to know you are going to get the job done. After working for him for so long, I sort of know what he wants. A good assistant keeps stuff off his plate and off his desk, and that's what I try to do."


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