Then, finally. With 5:13 left in the game, he spotted up for a 15-foot jumper from the baseline that swished for a 59-44 lead, putting a dagger in one of Kansas' many comebacks.
"He was terrific," Self said. "The basket he made was one of the biggest baskets of the game."
His only bucket of the game — could that be a different sort of spin on "one and done?"
Well, if Davis does choose to leave, Cal can certainly handle it. He has mastered the art of rebuilding on the fly.
He's the coach who brings in the John Walls, Brandon Knights and Derrick Roses (at Memphis) for cups of coffee, lets them sharpen up their resumes, then happily says goodbye when it becomes obvious there's nothing left for them to do in school.
The coach refuses to apologize for the way he recruits or how he runs his program. Just playing by the rules as they're set up, he says, even if he doesn't totally agree with them. Because he refuses to promise minutes or shots to any recruit and demands teamwork out of all of them, he says he comes by these players honestly.
He has produced nine first-round picks in the last four drafts, including five in 2010. That draft day was as big a moment for the school as any, Calipari said. A pretty big statement for the program built by Adolph Rupp.
"The reason was, I knew now that other kids would look and say, 'You've got to go there,'" Calipari said.
This latest group came and won it all.
"I wanted that," Calipari said. "I told them I wanted this to be one for the ages."
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