Calipari understands son's desire to transfer

Kentucky coach John Calipari said he understands why his son Brad, a Wildcats guard, has put his name in the transfer portal.

"I mean, you know, do you blame him?" the coach said Tuesday in his summer address to reporters. "He was in here three times yesterday working out. Do you blame him for wanting to play more, and knowing who's here? Has he gotten better? Absolutely, he has gotten better. So now, he can look around, and I even told him to look at Division II. What's wrong with that?"

Brad Calipari made 15 appearances as a freshman and 12 appearances as a sophomore before redshirting last season. He graduated in three years, so he would be eligible to play immediately as a graduate transfer -- likely with two years of eligibility remaining.

"The ideal thing would be for him to have more of an opportunity here, but you know, I'd love to do it, but that's my own son," the coach said.

"It has to be earned and you have to deserve it and you have to take what you want, and the other guys try to take what he wants -- and if he is better than you, then I am playing him. If you're not doing your thing and you're changing the game, guess what, I'm taking you out. This thing is about winning and you being responsible for you."

Kentucky is expected to be loaded at the guard position next season, so competition for playing time will be heated.

"For my son and all of these kids, this is hard here," the coach said. "It's not easy, and if you're not willing to work, you should not come here. ... This stuff is a competitive environment and you've got to want this, and then you take what you want."

Calipari said he was amazed that news of his son entering the transfer portal became public so quickly.

"All the stuff went crazy. He puts his name in the portal -- how does the media get it within a minute? But the media, I'm researching that. How does the media have all of this? It was out within 30 seconds of him putting his name in."

"The night before, he says, 'Dad, if I want to do this, how do I do it?' I said you have to put your name in the portal to get started. It was a two-minute conversation. The next morning, he put his name in without telling me, his mom, his sisters, anybody. He just put it in there. He didn't think anything. But the media got it within 30 seconds and all of a sudden it is trending nationally and Cal and his son are having a fistfight and he is leaving. What?"

As a high school player, Calipari was a starting guard at the MacDuffie School (Massachusetts), averaging 15.3 points and shooting 47% from 3-point range as a senior.