Kentucky's John Calipari calls himself 'overrated' as a recruiter after James Wiseman commits to Memphis

A little more than an hour after top prospect James Wiseman committed to Memphis over Kentucky on Tuesday, Wildcats coach John Calipari called himself "overrated" as a recruiter.

The Wildcats under Calipari have been well-known for reeling in top-shelf talent to Lexington, and currently have the No. 1 class for 2019 in the SEC (which ranks sixth nationally.) But with Wiseman off the board, it marks the second time in two recruiting cycles that UK was in the mix -- but failed to close -- on the top prospect in the 247Sports Composite rankings.

"The biggest thing is - I've said it all along - I think I'm overrated as a recruiter," Calipari said. "We've had kids that made the decision to come here and it's played out well for almost all of them. My thing is I want to be able to sleep at night. I want to make sure that I'm telling the truth. I want to make sure that I'm sticking with guys."

Calipari can fill himself up with humble pie as much as he wants ahead of Thanksgiving, but here's the truth: Calipari calling himself overrated is the equivalent of Stephen King calling himself a blogger, or LeBron James saying he's been an excellent role player in the NBA. It's factually inaccurate. Here's a look at where Kentucky and Calipari have finished in the recruiting rankings since he took the reins in Lexington in 2009.

YEAR

NATIONAL RANK

SEC RANK

2009

1

1

2010

1

1

2011

1

1

2012

1

1

2013

1

1

2014

2

1

2015

1

1

2016

2

1

2017

2

1

2018

2

1

2019

(6)

(1)

Calipari has brought in the best talent to the SEC every single year since he's been at UK according to 247Sports rankings, and brought in the top-ranked national class six of 10 times. The only four times he hasn't finished atop the national rankings, his class ranked second. That is insane sustained success. For context: There are 353 teams in college basketball. So every year, he's beating out more than 350 teams in terms of talent.

Has Calipari missed on top targets along the way? Absolutely, he has. Wiseman is perhaps the shining -- and also most recent -- example to highlight that fact. But even with the misses, he's recruiting at an elite level that has proven successful for a program that has lofty expectations. He seems at peace with how things have played out, and given his track record he should be.

"I gotta be able to sleep at night knowing that I'm being honest. I'm not embellishing: 'Here's what it is,'" Calipari said. "I'm not saying that against anybody else, everybody recruits the way they recruit. But you've got good programs and good coaches, and that's why we don't get everybody we recruit. We're not the only ones out there trying to get good players and trying to help kids."

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