SPENCER: Calipari excited about upcoming season, 'strongest team he's had'

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by Kent Spencer

WHAS11.com

Posted on October 1, 2013 at 2:31 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 1 at 5:35 PM

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WHAS11) -- He's back. John Calipari once again walks with a swagger and is talking with a purpose. The reason, he's got a really good team, again, and that's what he said.

Tuesday morning I sat down with Calipari to talk about the upcoming season. See if you can tell he's excited about his new crop.

"I was in the car after our first workout dancing and then I got nervous because they are all going to leave after this year," Calipari said.

Calipari describes this team as a group who can play 15 different ways. The strongest he's ever had at UK. They'll be led by freshman Julius Randle who Calipari describes as a 6'9" Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. If that's true, wow.

Perhaps the reason Calipari is so forthcoming with praise these days is an eagerness to put last year behind him. You might remember Kentucky's loss to Robert Morris in the first round of the NIT. Calipari does, in fact he's been reminded of that loss by random fans a few times in in the off-season.

Two years ago after winning the national title, Calipari was convinced Marquis Teague would return to school. When Teague opted for the NBA, it left Kentucky with only eight players on scholarship. He's determined to not go through that again which is why he brought in so many talented players.

The hardest part for Calipari will be getting a group of talented players to put stats aside and buy into a team concept. Something he's been able to do every year at UK except one and that's a season he'd like to forget.

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