The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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April 5, 2014

Final Four teams do it their way

(Continued)

“When you’re changing the whole direction of a family, does it matter if it’s one or four years, unless you’re ingrained in, this is how it has to be?” he said. “That’s why I don’t read it, don’t care. All I do is, let me take care of these kids.”

Nobody at Kentucky is complaining, though they certainly were earlier this season.

Led by lottery pick-to-be Julius Randle and the Harrison twins, Aaron and Andrew, Calipari recruited six McDonald’s All-Americans to the bluegrass this season. The national title and an undefeated season were expected to be mere stopping points for these kids on the way to bigger things.

It’s a different story at Wisconsin, where the talent doesn’t always jump out to NBA scouts and Ryan’s swing-offense system gets credit for getting the most out of his players — even in a season like this, when the Badgers are playing more up-tempo and making more shots. Their 73.5 points are the most Wisconsin has averaged in 20 seasons.

“Sometimes, we kind of fail the eye test,” said 7-foot, 234-pound center Frank Kaminsky, he of the scraggly beard and the sweatjacket that nearly droops off his shoulders.

“I know that, me, personally, I’ve heard comments about how I look like I’m asleep all the time. I don’t know where that came from,” the center said, drawing laughs as he looked over at Ryan.

Yes, they are having fun on this trip to the Final Four, where the chance awaits to see how they stack up against the “One and Dones” — the likes of which don’t walk through Ryan’s door all that often.

In the other semifinal, UConn is looking to repeat the outcome of a December game against Florida.

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