Late in May, we wrote about John Calipari’s decision to include Karl Towns on the Dominican National Team, which Cal is coaching during Olympic qualifying.
For those that are unaware, Towns is currently the most highly-regarded recruit in the Class of 2015 (kids that will be high school sophomores in the fall) and, quite obviously, one of Kentucky’ main targets.
It’s genius, really. Cal will be able to coach Towns throughout qualifying, which is a pretty good way to build a relationship with him. Advantage: Calipari.
The thinking was that this would be a great opportunity for Towns as well, because he would get a chance to battle with current NBA players like Al Horford and Charlie Villanueva. The latter is no longer true, however, as Villanueva was cut from the team by Calipari today for being out of shape:
“Charlie was not in good form when we saw him,” Calipari said to Deportes en la Z.
“He was overweight, and unfortunately, we could not slow down the entire team and it was a decision taken collectively.
“Last year, Charlie behaved really well with us and his only problem was his weight.
“An NBA player like him deserves respect and for respect, we have taken this decision.
“I enjoyed coaching him a lot.
“He is a great player.”
The Dominican team still has quite a bit of size — Horford is playing, as will Spanish League members Eulis Baez and Josh Asselin and current Sacramento King Francisco Garcia.
But without Villanueva on the roster, will this open up minutes for Towns to see some action? And if this kid, as a sophomore-to-be, can compete with professionals at the highest level of international play, what does it say about his potential three years down the road?
Taking over the Dominican National Team is looking like a great decision by Calipari.