After Monday’s news that Jarred Vanderbilt is now practicing with the team, everyone wants to know when he’ll play in a game; after the game, John Calipari said Vanderbilt is physically ready to go, but mentally? Not so much.
“Yesterday, and even today, I loved him in the shootaround. He’s just not ready mentally to be on the court. I basically told him, when you go in, you’re only going to play seven or eight minutes in a half. You’re going to have limited minutes for a while. I’m just going to put you out there, let you run around and feel good about yourself and then you’re out.
“But he’s going to have to make that decision. It’s more mental. He could play. He couldn’t play 40 minutes but he could play. What he does is — I never remember him being as physically strong as he is. He changed up practice. It was physical. I’ll tell you what else Jarred is. He’s a willing passer, so when he gets it, the team loves it because they know he’s passing. He’s a willing passer, which this team needs, so it would be nice.”
If you think that sounds like a challenge, you’re not alone, but Calipari insists he’s not pressuring the freshman to make his debut.
“I’m not challenging him. I’d like his first game to be a home game so he can get some love and work through what he needs to work through. I’d rather have that than a road game, but I’m going to leave that up to him.”
Vanderbilt at Vanderbilt? We’ll see.