Tom Crean has his hands full at Georgia, as he’s being tasked with turning around a struggling program and returning it to the NCAA Tournament.

However, if he truly wants his program to be elite, he’ll have to compete with Kentucky (among other teams) in the SEC.

Crean joined the “Pardon My Take” podcast recently and sounded confident he could compete with coach John Calipari on the recruiting trails (quotes via

“You’re going to have to go up against Cal every single year. You said you don’t recruit someone else’s race, and I agree with that. You obviously can’t go after Kentucky guys,” the show’s co-host, Dan Katz (AKA Big Cat), said to Crean.

“Yes you can,” Crean responded.

The Bulldogs likely would have made it to the NIT last year had coach Mark Fox not been fired. This year, expectations will be much higher in Athens.

Crean will need to bring in some Kentucky-caliber recruits if he wants to be in the running for SEC titles on a yearly basis.