John Calipari called all his Kentucky players into a meeting, and in front of the entire group he posed a short series of questions to the three or four Wildcats who easily could have entered their names into the 2014 NBA Draft.

"Did you come back for me? Did you come back for the program?’

He got his answer without anyone really saying a word.

“What do you think they said? They all laughed.”

Calipari knows center Willie Cauley-Stein, guards Aaron and Andrew Harrison and forward Alex Poythress returned for this season because, as the coach puts it, “They needed us to develop them more so they’re more ready.” In planning for the 2014-15 season, Calipari had expected all four to depart. Their decisions changed much about how the pending season now will develop.

For one, their return had a huge impact on Calipari’s own decision to remain at Kentucky.

More than one NBA team called him about returning to the league to coach; it is well known the Cleveland Cavaliers were among them , which now means he would have gotten the chance to coach the great LeBron James.

However, current NCAA rules force college players to make their final decision about the draft in April. Calipari’s opportunities arrived subsequent to that date.

“Four kids said they need us and me to help them get more prepared for the rest of their lives,” Calipari said Monday. “If I came back after the date and left … tough move. If it was your son, how would you feel? ‘That rat, we could have left, why didn’t he tell us?’ “

Calipari said that was the reason he declined the NBA jobs. “Solely," as he put it.