They're battling for the best prep talent in America. So they're competitors, not buddies. Today's post from John Calipari, which appears to slight Duke's Mike Krzyzewski's recruiting tactics, proves as much.
Two weeks ago, five-star talent Hamidou Diallo (ranked 17th in the 2017 class, per Recruiting Nation), who reportedly received scholarship offers from Duke and Kentucky in recent weeks, detailed the differences between the pitches made by Calipari and Krzyzewski in a conversation with the Louisville Courier-Journal.
"Kentucky's pitch was just the NBA thing," Diallo told the Courier-Journal. "Duke's pitch was if you come to Duke, you're going to be set for life. It's more than just basketball. (John Calipari's) pitch was he gets guys ready for the next level. Look at the numbers: it shows. It's the best place for you if you want to make it to the NBA."
On Monday, Calipari appeared to respond to Duke's "set for life" pitch to Diallo in the second installment of a CoachCal.com offseason series about the Kentucky program titled, "The vision of the program: Where we're going."
"I refuse to go in a home and paint a picture saying things like, 'If you come with us you'll be taken care of for the rest of your life by the program and by our alums,' even though you may only be in school for a year or two," Calipari said. "How preposterous does that sound? What if I say that same thing and the young man decides to transfer for one reason or another? Does that still hold true that we're going to take care of them the rest of their lives? Our approach is to give them the fishing rod and the lures to help them catch fish, not to just give you the fish."
Perhaps Calipari had Derryck Thornton, the former Duke guard who left the Blue Devils in April after one season with the program, on his mind when he referenced transfers.
But who knows? Maybe it's all just a coincidence.
It's Calipari, the master of subtleties concocted to elevate his program. He knows what he's doing.