Well, this certainly won’t hurt recruiting.
On Friday, John Calipari offered UK fans “the first official viewing of the Wildcat Coal Lodge by the general public.”
Cal starts the tour off by following new Cat Alex Poythress into the building. The entry includes a display about the coal industry in Kentucky (remember who built it) and a case that contains what look to be replicas of UK’s eight national championship trophies.
Oh yeah, and there’s an empty space just waiting on title No. 9.
“I guess they try to hint about it here at the University of Kentucky,” Cal says.
The lounge area is up next, and that room features large murals of Calipari-era players John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and others. All great players, sure, but also a not-so-subtle reminder for the many elite recruits who will tour the building with visions of a one-and-done future.
There are no couches in the lounge. “They want to sit on recliners,” according to Cal. One of the highlights is the pool table (complete with blue felt).
After the dining area and kitchen (both fully loaded, of course), Cal hops on the elevator and heads up to Kyle Wiltjer’s room.
Another reminder of success as they step off the elevator: a mural that includes more than a dozen former Wildcats wearing their NBA uniforms. Further down the hall is another display featuring ex-Cats in the NBA.
On to Wiltjer’s room, which is (predictably) larger than the one I lived in about a decade ago at Haggin Hall. Cal points out that the sink is also larger than one you’d normally find in a dorm room. “Everything in here is for 7-footers. We want to make sure a 7-footer is comfortable,” he says. “Everything is big.”
We’re back outside, and the coach shows us how close the lodge is to everyday destinations like the practice facility and tutoring center.
And that concludes Cal’s tour. Looks like the man behind four straight No. 1 classes has added another powerful weapon to his recruiting arsenal.