Cal: 5 players in UK draft big day for Cats

Kentucky coach John Calipari still thinks having five players drafted in the first round, including John Wall as UK's first ever No. 1 overall pick, was the "biggest day in Kentucky basketball history."

Kentucky coach John Calipari still thinks having five players drafted in the first round, including John Wall as UK's first ever No. 1 overall pick, was the "biggest day in Kentucky basketball history."

However, the UK coach said during the Southeastern Conference basketball teleconference Monday that it meant no disrespect to any past UK team or any previous Kentucky basketball accomplishments.

"Just being able (to be at the draft), I can't explain the emotions and be able to be part of five families and players realizing their dreams and we were connected to that," said Calipari. "We helped create hope for the families. They did it, but we were part of it."

He said Eric Bledsoe, his mother and him were all "screaming" when the guard was picked 18th overall in the draft by Oklahoma City before he was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers.

"It was incredible," Calipari said.

That feeling led Calipari to make his proclamation about the "biggest day" after seeing DeMarcus Cousins, Patrick Patterson and Daniel Orton also picked in the first round.

"I was not talking about the past. I was talking about the future," Calipari said. "It was a two-hour infomercial for our league and the University of Kentucky. It will speak volumes for five years or longer."

Calipari still values winning a national title and again insisted Monday that "players will win us national titles" at Kentucky.

The coach says his challenge is figuring out how to get to the Elite Eight like UK did this year and still advance with a young team unless rules are changed where one-and-done players like Wall, Cousins, Bledsoe and Orton won't be an annual issue at Kentucky.

"How do you deal with those last three games with a young team like we had last year? It looks like we will always be a young team," Calipari, who will bring seven new players on the team this year, said.


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