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Karl Towns is another example of why Coach Cal is the best

May 24, 2012, 5:54 PM EDT


High school basketball has two major stars right now.

Rising senior Jabari Parker, a small forward from Chicago, is fresh off of gracing the cover of Sports Illustrated, where he was called the best high school player since LeBron. Andrew Wiggins, a rising junior playing his high school ball in West Virginia, is a kid that many people believe may actually be better than Parker. Every coach in the country goes to sleep dreaming about getting one of these two kids to wear their school’s colors.

But there is another phenom coming through the high school ranks. He goes by the name Karl Towns, and he’s a 6-foot-11 center that started and averaged a double-double for New Jersey powerhouse St. Joseph’s in Metuchen. He’s also a 16 year old freshman.

How good is Towns?

“He’s the best player in the Class of 2015,” said recruiting analyst — and pomade expert — Jeff Borzello said.

But does that mean that Towns is good enough to play on the Dominican National Team? I’ve seen Towns play. He’s going to be a very, very good basketball player. He’s not only a rebounder and a shot-blocker, but he’s able to step out and knock down a three. The problem? He’s 16. He’s not physically mature. He doesn’t have a well-developed low-post game. He’s not ready to compete against some of the world’s best players.

So why is he on the team?

Well, in my mind, it’s simple: John Calipari is coaching the Dominican team. Calipari is also recruiting Towns to play his collegiate ball at Kentucky. It would only make sense for him to put Towns on the team. A chance to legally and get to know him? Calipari would be a fool not to include him.

And, along those same lines, Towns would be a fool not to accept the invitation. Al Horford and Charlie Villanueva will be the likely starters for this Dominican team. You don’t think Towns is going to get better attending Calipari’s practices where he will be going up against two NBA all-stars? You don’t think it will benefit him experiencing a high-level of international basketball?

“I want people to know he made it for his ability, not because of who the coach is,” Karl Towns Sr. told Jeff Eisenberg of The Dagger. That may be true. Maybe Calipari is planning for the future. Maybe the Dominican team does not have much front court depth. Maybe I just saw Towns on a day when he was tired or didn’t play well.

But regardless of whether or not Towns is good enough right now to play on this Dominican team isn’t the point.

There was no way he was going to get cut.

This is just another example of why Coach Cal is ahead of the curve on everyone when it comes to recruiting. You don’t think Cal knew about this kid when he made the decision to coach the Dominican team? Just like the game he scheduled at Cowboys Stadium for the 2013-2014 season had nothing to do with his efforts to pull the Harrison twins out of Texas?

There is a reason that Cal is so good at what he does. This is it.

Photo via.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.

  1. karlton2 - May 25, 2012 at 10:39 AM

    I went to a small high school in rural Indiana (city population ~10K). My graduating class had 85 kids. I’m shocked that the gymnasium in this video passes for an elementary school gym, let alone a high school gym. I’ve never seen a gym with a seating capacity in double digits before.

  2. ctsmithiii - May 25, 2012 at 1:51 PM

    Coach Cal will be back in the pros by the time Towns can play for UK since UK will be on probation for not graduating players like UConn.

    • thecoloradowildcat - May 25, 2012 at 6:35 PM

      ctsmithiii – It would be WONDERFUL if you and all your “Coach Cal-hating” friends would stop drinking the Koolaid, as Mr. O’Reilly would say, and know the facts before you post.

      FACT: As long as the student-athlete is in good academic standing at the time they leave a NCAA institution, the fact that they did not graduate does not, I repeat “DOES NOT” count against the school.

      In the three years that Coach Cal has been at UK, only one player left in a “not-good” standing, and that was the first spring he was coach. The rest of the team had a high enough GPA to cover it.

      By the way, what flavor do you prefer?

  3. imforbigblue - May 25, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    Lol your a freaking moron! UK will not be on probation for players not finishing school. Uconn got in trouble because there dumb ass players left school with bad grades. Every player leaving UK this year all had passing grades and were on par so it will not hurt UK one bit. Next time you want to hate on cal and UK at least know what the hell your talking about tars

  4. cranespy - May 26, 2012 at 8:20 AM

    I am a UK fan and I HOPE it never happens but I fear that by 15…..we will be regretting we ever hitched our wagon to Coach Cal’s star. He gets the players, he gets results BUT he also leaves vacated Final Four appearances and disappointed fans in his wake. With social media and the promise of 15 minutes of fame, not to mention millions in book rights we could be one disgruntled parent of a blue chip or one AAU coach who didn’t get his shot away from total embarrassment. Admit it fans……there are many more out there just like me who have this dull aching pain in our gut that prevents us from experiencing TOTAL JOY over that championship….it should be the first of many more I just hope I never have to explain that big * to my grandchildren.

  5. kingghidora - May 26, 2012 at 11:50 AM

    It’s so funny to watch the desperation in the posts of the UK haters. i know it stings that UK gets all the good players but cheer up, you might make it like Butler or Valpo or some of the other small schools. Everyone has a chance now under the one and done system. You’re really lucky UK doesn’t get to keep all those players for 4 years at a time. You would never beat them then.

    So go ahead and get your little anti-Cal cheering section together and do your little dance and chant your little chants. You won’t change a thing bucko. The NCAA gave Cal a clear pass on all that stuff you said was his fault. He’s the most honorable man in the game despite what you think. How many other coaches raised a million dollars for the earthquake victims of Haiti? I could list a dozen similar things he’s done but that would take all the fun out of watching you spin and twist in the wind because you know UK owns the game right now and there’s not one thing you can do about it.

  6. bigmoe933 - May 26, 2012 at 12:48 PM

    Look at coach cal’s first two years and tell me those players graduated with good grade. As a team they had below a 2.0 gpa. UK fans are the dumbest fans

  7. imforbigblue - May 26, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    WOW you haters just talk so much crap with nothing to back it up with. Only one player left with bad grades and didn’t finish up classes and that was orton who %95 of UK fans wished he never came. Get your facts straight before you talk shit because your the one who looks like a Moron. To the fake UK fan who said he’s worried about cal go root for loserville and there coach who cheats on his wife

  8. cranespy - May 26, 2012 at 8:11 PM

    No hate here….just a gut feeling. We shall see come 15. By then we should have at least one more title possibly more…hope you are right and I am dead wrong….but something tells me that is not the case. Time will tell. I can assure you though I am not alone..there are some big time donors who are as uneasy as I.

  9. bigmoe933 - May 26, 2012 at 11:10 PM

    Lousiville sucks too, I’m just stating the fact of how low UKs team gpa was in 10. Which is a fact. 95% of fans who didn’t like cousins, that’s a made up stat. I must know all 5% of UK fans who like cousins.

  10. bigmoe933 - May 26, 2012 at 11:13 PM

    UCLA > UK

  11. dusk2k3 - Jun 1, 2012 at 10:08 AM

    Let me help out some of the uneducated that don’t want to take the time to do their research before blasting out criticism for a successful coach and team. Since John Calipari has been coach at the university of Kentucky, the basketball teams combined GPA’s have been: 2.18(Spring 2010, the year Daniel Orton, not Demarcus Cousins did so poorly), 3.14 (Spring 2011), and 3.12 (Spring 2012). I’m only quoting the spring GPA’s since those are the only ones widely available online.

    Since 2010 was Calipari’s first year with UK, the low GPA make sense, since he had just started enforcing his educational standards. Since that time, the GPA has been above a B average every spring. Calipari preaches success in the classroom to all his players and teaches them that they need to have a fallback plan to basketball. According to Mitch Barnhardt, UK’s athletic director, Cal tries to teach his players to succeed both on and off the court.

    But I guess thats the beauty of posting anonymously on a forum. You don’t need facts. You just need to have an opinion. No matter how uneducated it is.

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