Behind the Scenes of Building a Roster: A look at basketball recruiting and Coach Cal

By Courtney Mims
on 2024-04-22 21:35 PM

FAYETTEVILLE, Ar. (KNWA/KFTA) – John Calipari has been the head men’s basketball coach at Arkansas for 13 days and currently has two commits, but there are some fans concerned that there hasn’t been more recruiting news over the past two weeks.

Our Courtney Mims had a chance to sit down with two people who were able to talk about what goes on behind the scenes of recruiting and why it’s a longer process now than in years past.

“He’s a great X’s and O’s coach, he’s a great coach, but especially the league Arkansas is in, in the SEC, you can be a great coach, but you better have, forget the X’s and O’s, you gotta have the Jimmy’s and Joe’s. There’s no one better at getting the Jimmy’s and Joe’s at the level that is needed to be to compete that Arkansas is expected to be at with Coach Cal there as the head coach,” said Josh Pastner, who coached under Calipari at Memphis and was a head coach for the Tigers and Georgia Tech.

If he’s the best, what’s the holdup with commits? There’s so much more to recruiting now, thanks to NIL.

“A lot of the players he’s competing for a lot of it is not about the name on the front of the jersey as much, as its the deal with NIL, I don’t even like to use name image and likeness, it’s really pay for play. So that’s where there’s more negotiation and leveraging going on right now and it won’t happen overnight,” Pastner said.

A lot of fans were worried when he took over Arkansas’ program as there was not a single scholarship player on the roster.

Donnie Jones, Stetson’s head men’s basketball coach, said that’s the new normal in college basketball.

“Each year you gotta expect 8 to 10 new players, that’s gonna be changed out, so the development process is how do we be good in a short period of time?” Jones said.

There’s also a lot of fans concerned about the amount of prospects that Coach Cal is reaching out to.

While Eric Musselman would contact multiple players in the portal, Calipari goes about things in his own way.

“Coach Cal is not gonna reach out to 20 people or 15 prospects, he’s gonna be very selective in the ones he goes after and dive in all in with both feet, both hands and try and get those prospects,” Pastner said.

There’s no doubt Calipari will build a talented roster, but the question is, can he keep those guys at Arkansas after the season is over?

“Cal is obviously the master at being able to attract people and recruit kids and put together young teams in the past but now everybody wants an old team, so where do you find that happy mix?” Jones said.

(Last updated: 2024-04-22 21:35 PM)