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T.J.’s Player Previews: David, Calipari, Payne


© Brian Losness | USATSI

Kentucky Sports Radio will preview every player heading into UK’s Bahamas trip starting on August 8th. The complete schedule can be found here and all games are on SEC Network.

Basics: Kentucky’s walk-ons for the 2018-2019 season are Jonny David (senior), Brad Calipari (junior) and Zan Payne (freshman). David is a 6-foot-2, 185-pound guard, Calipari a 6-foot, 180-pound shooting guard and Payne a 6-foot-4, 225-pound wing.

Also, it isn’t set in stone that any of these players will be official walk-ons. UK has only given out 10 scholarships this season, which means there are a few available.

2017-2018: UK didn’t get much out of Calipari or David last season. David appeared in two games last season, the Louisville blowout and the second round of the NCAA tournament against Buffalo. Calipari made an appearance in 12 games but mostly in garbage time during blowouts.

Payne averaged 19.3 points and 8.7 rebounds for Lexington Catholic last season. A knee injury ended his season in February and the plan is for Payne to rehab this upcoming season and return to the court most likely in 2019-2020.

Bahamas Expectations: This is a bad year for walk-ons at Kentucky. It’s never a great time to be a walk-on at Kentucky if you’re looking for a plethora of minutes, but this year UK is loaded with scholarship players. John Calipari could go nine deep if he wanted this upcoming season but even if he narrows his rotation to six or seven like he normally does it seems highly unlikely one of the walk-ons break through.

But Caliapri held his own in the open practice last week. He hit a few tough three-pointers and wasn’t a major liability defensively. Calipari and David will almost certainly get some minutes in the Bahamas, but if Calipari could hit a few threes during the games it could greatly help his confidence heading into the season.

Highlights (some of the highlight videos in this series may have language NSFW. Some won’t. Follow your heart):

T.J.’s Player Preview Schedule (click the player’s name to read previous posts):

July 24th: Reid Travis

July 25th: P.J. Washington

July 26th: Jemarl Baker

July 27th: Nick Richards

July 30th: Quade Green

July 31st: E.J. Montgomery

August 1st: Tyler Herro

August 2nd: Immanuel Quickley

August 3rd: Keldon Johnson

August: 6th: Ashton Hagans

August 7th: Walk-ons

Article written by TJ Walker

5 responses to “T.J.’s Player Previews: David, Calipari, Payne”

  1. bigbluebanana

    Who did you leave off when talking about going 9 deep? Jemarl? If so, is it your opinion his latest injury sidelines him all year? Or is he just not good enough to get minutes?

    1. Luether

      Yes, was wondering the same thing. What’s up with 9 instead of 10, TJ?