King star De'Aaron Fox jumped on the All The Smoke podcast, hosted by NBA vets Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson, and dropped some very good quotes involving his current life, as well as his time in Kentucky.
De'Aaron Fox admitted that he knew where he was playing college ball at the entire time of his recruiting process, that he just wanted to have fun with using all of his visits up.
“My final list was Kentucky, Louisville, Kansas, LSU and Arizona. Funny thing, I knew (where I wanted to go). I feel like most kids just waste time saying they want to take visits, visit these campuses, do all this, but I knew where I was going the whole time. I was like, “So I’m about to go spend the colleges’ money, go have a good time, spend time with my parents, take whoever I want to go on these official visits. But the whole time I knew I was going to Kentucky.”
While many of schools sparked some interest from him, he said that Kentucky just had the most to offer, with multiple of reasons why he chose them. “Being a one-and-done was the main reason. But second reason, it was just the place I knew I wanted to play,” said Fox.
The former Kentucky guard said Louisville didn't stand a chance (according to his mother) of landing him, despite them being in his top five. “Louisville had just gotten in trouble for the stripper s***, so my mom was like, “You’re not going there.” As a Kentucky fan, you've got to give momma Fox a round of applause for that one.
"I went to LSU (on a visit) because I wanted to go to Baton Rouge for a weekend. Kansas, Bill Self ain’t playing no freshmen over juniors and seniors, they had Devonte’ Graham and Frank Mason at the time. I knew I wasn’t going to play there. Kentucky was the only real choice, I knew I was going to play. Kentucky was the place I knew I was going to start, and I knew I was going to play.”
De'Aaron Fox seems to still be happy that he chose Lexington as his one year pit-stop to the NBA. “Man, it was great. I love Cal. I still talk to Cal to this day. He lets you rock. That’s why he wants guards like John [Wall] and myself and [Brandon] Knight, Tyler Ulis. The way that he coaches, it’s like absolute freedom. He’ll put X’s and O’s but at the end of the day, everything’s going to end up in a pick and roll or isolation. That’s what the NBA is too.”
Fox says that Cal focused more on player development during their time in college, instead of winning games and championships, because he believed that the development would turn into won games. “When he’s able to get those guys, you find success. Cal couldn’t give a damn about winning college basketball games. If he’s getting guys who he knows he can end up developing into NBA players, you’re automatically going to win 30 games a year just from that alone. That’s what I loved."
“You came in, you had to earn everything. He made you work. At the end of the day, I was a top-five pick, Bam (Adebayo) and Malik (Monk) were lottery picks. That’s all you can ask for. We lost in the Elite Eight, obviously we were mad as hell, but that wasn’t going to make me stay.”
Despite going on a great run and having a National Championship worthy of a matchup with North Carolina in the Elite Eight, Fox said that they weren't going to get the chance for a round two wether they wanted it or not. “We lost on a buzzer-beater. Cal brings us in about 20 minutes after, he said, “All of y’all are gone.” Brought us all in there, said, “You’re done, you’re not coming back. If you need us, you have our numbers, we’ll help you with whatever, but you’re not playing another college basketball game.”‘
Some of you may not want to hear that, and some of you will love it. A vocal problem that fans have with John Calipari is that they believe he cares more about NBA Draft picks rather than National Championships, and this quote doesn't necessarily say otherwise, but I believe his approach to his method is that he believes the lottery pick-High School talent he recruits give us the best chance at doing so, year in and year out. The only kicker is, Kentucky has just fell short in recent years. We've become accustom to finishing in the Elite Eights, and for many that is not enough, but in his defense, no other coach in college basketball has had as much success during the last decade (12 years to be exact) that he's been here.