Kentucky Wildcat’s Coach John Calipari put his stamp all over Thursday night’s game when Team USA blew the Dominican Republic out of the water. The coach that just won his first National Championship with Kentucky this past year was on the sidelines coaching his last game for the Dominican Republic. Playing for the opposing team, Anthony Davis, the No. 1 pick in the 2012 draft by the New Orleans Hornets that helped bring Kentucky their eighth national championship, made his debut for Team USA.
This week has been a whirlwind for Davis as he went from being cut from Team USA roster to being called back to Las Vegas after Los Angeles Clippers Blake Griffen tore his meniscus. Davis will likely be the first player since 1992 Dream Team Christian Laettner to suit up for Team USA before making his NBA debut.
With Coach Cal coaching the opposing team, Davis entered into the game with ten minutes remaining and scored nine points. According to the six foot ten forward, he received a pep talk from Carmelo Anthony, who told him to pretend he was still in college.
“That’s what I ended up doing,” he said. “And it was good to beat Coach Cal.”
Considering Davis knew none of the plays for Team USA, everyone, including Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski, was very impressed and pleased with his performance. After scoring a three point shot while being fouled, the former Kentucky player turned to the Dominican Republic bench and shouted something to Coach Cal.
“He was telling me that I never let him shoot threes at Kentucky,” Calipari said.
In response, Coach Calipari drew up a play for one of his youngest players, sixteen-year-old Karl Town, to shoot a three pointer over Team USA Davis. However, his plan did not go as well as expected as Towns missed the shot. “I wanted him to make it so badly,” said Coach Cal. There have been rumors that Towns may be a future Wildcat as he was seen wearing Kentucky’s practice shorts after the game.
During a press conference after last night’s game, Calipari talked about how much one of his former college players, Derrick Rose, benefited from playing with Team USA in 2010.
“One year in this organization elevated Derrick Rose’s game, no question,” said Coach Cal. “Being around professional winners who sacrifice for each other and have a commitment to getting better will push Anthony Davis’s career ahead two years, in my opinion.”
Clearly, it was a successful and promising night for Team USA as they beat the Dominican Republic with 113-59 victory.