Kentucky's John Calipari dogs Duke for its recruiting pitch with Zion Williamson
Calipari threw major shade at Duke and the coaching staff's recruiting pitch
Williamson talked about his relationship with Coach K, the Duke brotherhood, and the family atmosphere he sensed taking visits that made him feel at home. And on Monday, Kentucky coach John Calipari threw a heap of shade at Duke and the way the staff may have sold him on the program.
"I don't sell, when you come here: 'The university and the state will take care of you for the rest of your life.' You may buy that, and I've got some great property and some swampland down in Florida to sell you too. Every one of us in this country is based on, you have to take care of your self, prepare yourself, and then when you make it you make sure you're helping and along the way you're bringing other people with you. That's what we're trying to do: just give these guys the best opportunity. We're not trying to say that this university or state will take care of you for the rest of your life. There's no socialism here. This stuff is you have to go do it and we're going to help you do it. Some like that, some don't like that." - via UKAthletics.com
Using the phrasing "set for life" has been a Duke staple on the recruiting trail, most recently used on former five-star Hamidou Diallo, who ultimately picked the Wildcats. Diallo detailed the difference between the two programs in 2016 after committing to Kentucky.
Although Williamson was recruited for quite a stretch by Kentucky, along with many other programs, Duke's pitch ultimately won out. So say what you will about Duke's recruiting strategy, but Coach K won the recruiting battle. It's safe to say Calipari, though, isn't ceding the war.
"It was always more than basketball with Coach K," Williamson told the Charlotte Observer. "That basketball can stop bouncing for you at any time. If basketball was to end for me tomorrow, I would know I'm in good hands at Duke University."
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