New UK assistant sounds off on Coach Cal

Published 12:30 pm Friday, July 1, 2022

New Kentucky assistant basketball coach K.T. Turner says one thing about coach John Calipari stands out to him.

“He is not fake at all. I have always liked that about him. He wins and gets guys to the NBA. I love his personality,” Turner said. “He is really concerned about players and making sure they are working and doing things the right way. Our meetings are player driven.

“Cal is Cal. He wins and he is about the players. I love that about him.”

Turner coached under Larry Brown, one of Calipari’s mentors. He heard a lot of Calipari stories from Brown — including some he joked he could not share. Calipari tried to hire him before at Kentucky but it was for a non-recruiting position that Turner didn’t want to take.

“Coach Brown has unbelievable respect for Cal. He talked about him all the time,” Turner said about his time at SMU with Brown. “When I got to meet coach Cal, it was really great because I had heard so much about him.

“I learned from coach Brown that the big thing was to always be about the players. They are the ones who run the program.”

He’s only been in Kentucky about two weeks since leaving Oklahoma but already likes what he has seen.

“I think the sky’s the limit. I think we have a chance (to win a national title). We have a lot of great pieces. We have a lot of guys that work and play well together,” Turner said. “The culture is real. The guys work. That is what they are here for.”