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HOUSTON (AP) — John Calipari didn't come up with the "one-and-done" rule.
Didn't write it. Didn't implement it. The Kentucky coach didn't even really approve of it when the NBA decided in 2006 that players needed to be a year removed from high school before heading to the pros.
Yet Calipari has mastered it in a way few of his peers have, pulling off a seemingly impossible task season after season: molding the nation's top recruiting class into NBA-ready pros in six short months while somehow getting them to buy into the team-first concept in the process.
Kentucky plays Connecticut in its first Final Four game in 13 years Saturday with a roster headlined by freshmen Brandon Knight, Terrence Jones and Doron Lamb.
A year ago, they were all high school seniors. Next fall, Knight and Jones will likely be getting paid to play. And Calipari will welcome another gifted handful of McDonald's All-Americans and attempt to do it all over again.
It's the Calipari way. And it's probably not going anywhere.
"To be the best, I really believe you have to have the best players," Calipari said. "You want to be the best. You ain't coaching them up. You can play that game if you choose to."
Some do, and do it well.
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