CBB Analyst Believes Mark Pope can be Successful Recruiting at UK


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Mark Pope can successfully recruit at Kentucky without doing it the same way as former coach John Calipari who liked to load up with highly ranked freshmen year after year.

Yahoo! Sports NBA draft analyst/college basketball writer Krysten Peek said signing Collin Chandler, a one-time BYU signee who has been on a two-year mission trip, was a “big win” for Pope.

“He was one of the best players in his recruiting class before going on his mission,” she said. “I think he is going to surprise a lot of people. That was a great flip for Pope and Kentucky.”

Peek said the Kentucky fan base will still carry weight with recruits even with Pope as the coach. She also says the fact he won as a player at Kentucky and runs an NBA-style offense will help.

“I think he will be just fine. Yes, Calipari leaving and bringing in Pope changes the way Kentucky will recruit so he can get players to fit his offense and what he wants to do and get a guy like Collin Chandler who does not have tunnel vision to the NBA.

“There will not be a roster full of one-and-done players again at Kentucky but I honestly think Mark Pope will be just fine. Recruits will see videos of sold out Rupp Arena and how BBN was so excited at that press conference. All that resonates with players. It’s a new era and new chapter of Kentucky basketball.”

Peek said there will likely be no more No. 1 or No. 2 recruiting classes like Kentucky got used to with Calipari.

“Pope plays more of a NBA style game with spacing and how he uses his bigs,” Peek said. “Kentucky is still a top program with recruits. There will not be multiple five-star recruits in one class. It will be more like UConn sprinkling in elite recruits with transfer portal guys. It’s going to be different but that’s not bad. Pope’s playing style will be a positive in what Kentucky fans wanted from Calipari and his system.”

What about NIL money? How much will that impact Pope’s recruiting?

“Some recruits will go for NIL. There are always going to be money kids who have a starting bid number. With Pope and what he wants to build at Kentucky I do not think he will go after the highest bid. He is not going to win if you are bidding against Kentucky’s old coach now at Arkansas with his NIL budget. I just do not think Pope will want to get into bidding wars.

“Pope will find players in the portal and then sprinkle in some top recruits and you are not going to see almost an entire roster turnaround every year like you have seen the last 12 years or so.”

14 Responses

  1. My family and I were honored to be at the opening press conference/rally for our new coach. We feel very good about having him leading the program into a future devoid of just one and dones.

  2. It’s wonderful to have GENUINE Kentucky Basketball back.

    Only 1 Title since Pitino recruited, developed & molded players into 3 consecutive Title games (with 2 Titles) in ‘96, ‘97 & ‘98.

    One Title in 26 years of the PLOW era & the PETS era does not meet the historical high gold standard UK BB, but now we are on our way back to the Top!

    1. Coach Pope drove to Nashville to pick up Andrew Carrs family. AFTER he had just got back from Las Vegas!

      1. Lots of chicken $, Wal Mart $ and Jerry Jones $.
        Cal finally gave him the starting gig promise.

        I’ll take Andrew Carr who is a great player. 5th year player.
        And he WANTS to play for Kentucky.

        We’re going to kick their a$# because we have a real coach.

  3. Remember fans…. Adou Thiero’s father played for Calipari at Memphis. I didn’t want to lose him either. As a matter of fact, it could be the Theiro family’s loss. Adou will probably still be pretty far down the bench and playing against the one and dones. Playing against more veteran players, i.e: KY Cats, would benefit him more in his growth as a player.

  4. Adou to the dark side….it’s too bad we’ll have to pound on him a couple of times come SEC play. I guess we will wait and see who pulls out of the draft to fill out the roster. I really like what I have seen of the Berke kid from UCLA…he does it all from the 4 spot. I think Carr would still be the starter, but Berke would push him for PT. He would fill a void and I expect he will pull out of the draft only being a freshman. The Robinson kid from BYU could be available at the 3 spot if he doesn’t go to the G league. I am guessing Mark will have walkon tryouts to fill out the roster. Who knows…there may be another Cameron Mills lurking on campus.

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