Former UConn men's basketball coach Jim Calhoun once dubbed John Calipari, "Johnny Clam Chowder" for supposedly acting like a native New Englander while on the recruiting trail. Calipari's snake-oil salesman tendencies do often over-shadow just how good of a coach and talent evaluator he is, but maybe - just maybe - he is being truthful this time around when it comes to a certain highly touted basketball player possibly playing in the Commonwealth.
Jamal Murray, who played one season for Calipari at Kentucky, is going to be a lottery pick later this month, but his name is rarely seen in the top three or four in most mock drafts. Calipari says that's a crime, and he even went so far to say that his guy should be the top overall pick in this year's draft.
"They're talking about Jamal now with the No. 1 pick - which I knew would eventually come around," Calipari told ESPNU's College Basketball Podcast. "He may not be that pick, but I knew that all of a sudden they'd start looking around saying, 'wait a minute. He may be guy five years from now they look back on and say, 'who did they take in front of Jamal?'"
"His ability to score, stretch the defense, play the point guard position, play off the ball - because the NBA's going to 'position-less' - and he can flat-out shoot the ball - which is where the NBA's going. So now physically he's ready. He's one of the great kids of all-time. Is not like he has a body that may or may not work in that league. And it's not like he's not a great kid who can lead your locker room. So all of a sudden he starts getting consideration for the 1 pick.
Murray has been compared to NBA players like Klay Thompson, J.R. Smith (Fansided) and Ben Gordon (NBADraft.net) due to his excellent shooting ability.
In Metro's most recent mock draft we had Murray going No. 8 to the Sacramento Kings and the Celtics taking Cal's Jaylen Brown.
The Celtics took a Calipari guard in the draft two years ago at No. 17 overall in James Young. Young has not yet panned out in the NBA.