Calipari sticking with one-and-done approach

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“If I have a choice between a talented team and an experienced team, I’m taking talent every time,” he said. “I can try to figure out how to get them to defend, how to play together, all of those things.”

Though he’s the most accomplished coach when it comes to attracting one-and-dones, he’s hardly alone in the pursuit of potential one-year phenoms. Ohio State rode freshmen Greg Oden and Mike Conley to an appearance in the national title game in 2007. Kevin Love took UCLA to the Final Four in 2008. Kevin Durant played just one season at Texas. Same for Michael Beasley at Kansas State.

The sight of players treating college as a 12-month way station between high school and the NBA doesn’t sit well with NCAA president Mark Emmert, though he is powerless to stop it.

“I would very much like to not have that become the image of intercollegiate basketball, even though there are some that do that,” Emmert said. “I’d certainly like kids to stay in college and prepare themselves for the rest of their lives.”

So would Calipari, who says he’d love to coach freshman guard Brandon Knight for the next 15 years. He entered Saturday knowing he may not coach Knight for 15 more hours.

That’s fine. He didn’t make up the rules. He swears he’s just trying to play by them.

“My (best) option is to recruit the best players we have, the best students we can recruit, and then coach ‘em and get ‘em to believe in themselves, get ‘em to reach their dreams,” Calipari said. “If that is done after a year, then I’ll deal with it.”


AP Sports Writer Lynn DeBruin in Salt Lake City contributed to this report.

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