John Calipari is getting ready for his first season as the head coach of the Arkansas basketball team. He had been the Kentucky coach for a long time, but after a disappointing stretch of little NCAA Tournament success, he doesn't that he wanted to lead the Razorbacks. His biggest task this offseason has been building his Arkansas roster, and that can be difficult these days.

With the transfer portal and NIL, figuring out your roster isn't as easy as it used to be. John Calipari and Arkansas basketball are seeing that firsthand this offseason. One thing that is changing is the amount of freshman that Calipari wants to bring in. He is looking to decrease those numbers.

“I can't take seven freshmen until these rules change,” Calipari said during an appearance on the Dan Patrick Show. “Last year our team’s average age was 19.4. The team’s we played against were 24, 23, we played against 26 year-olds. So that's 19, as a freshman, and he's 26. So I am still going to recruit the best freshman, probably take three or four not seven, I can't take that many. You would hope a couple kids will stay and I'll bring in a couple transfers that are a little bit older.”

John Calipari is looking to Dean Smith

Kentucky’s John Calipari coaches from the sideline against Louisville
© Scott Utterback/Louisville Courier Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

One person that John Calipari is getting inspiration from is legendary North Carolina basketball head coach Dean Smith. Calipari is looking at what Smith did in the past and he is trying to do some of those same things.

“You know who I'm doing this like, back in the day a guy named Coach Smith, Dean Smith back in the day recruited for 10, 11, and 12, recruited specifically for that spot,” Calipari said. “Now there may be injuries, the guy may be better than everybody thought, he may beat somebody out, but he’s being recruited for 10,11, and 12. I want eight or nine guys on scholarship, NIL all that, and then I want 10,11,12.”

Forming a roster in year one has given Calipari some issues, but it is good to see that he has a plan in place. In this era of college sports, you have to adapt, or else you will be left behind. Calipari might not enjoy this current state, but he is adapting, and that's good for the Razorbacks.

With John Calipari leading the way, this Arkansas basketball team is going to be one of the most intriguing teams in the country next year.