"Cal, he's just a great coach," Rose said. "He makes you have that mentality where it's you against the world. He's good with one-and-done players, making sure everybody comes in and does their job, making sure they take care of their schoolwork and doing their work on the court. In practice, he wants 100 percent every time."
And for anyone who dismisses Calipari's success as a given with his star-studded rosters, what he does is a lot tougher than simply rolling the ball out after his phenoms sign their letters of intent.
Darius Miller, one of Kentucky's few upperclassmen, has had 40 teammates in his four years. Try adapting to a dozen teammates in their temperamental late teens or early 20s, let alone three times that many. Coaches groan at the prospect of a rebuilding year, but Calipari has one every single season. Sure, his ingredients may be better, but he's still starting essentially from scratch.
Yet Calipari has found a way to make it work, for his teams and his players.
"I'm not here for a popularity contest. I coach young people," Calipari said. "I'm worried about those 13. I'm worried about their families. I'm worried about the campus. I'm worried about the city I live in, the state I live in. Other than that, I'm not."
AP Sports Writer Jeff Latzke in Oklahoma City and AP freelance writer Ian Harrison in Toronto contributed to this report.
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