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Willie Cauley-Stein will consider a return, says still has emptiness to fill


The players dodged the NBA questions in the locker room after the loss, but Willie Cauley-Stein gave a noteworthy quote to Kyle Tucker about his basketball future when asked if he can imagine returning for a junior season. Willie told him, “Definitely, to me there is still an emptiness to fill.”

Willie said he’ll need some time to make up his mind about staying or going, but he said part of him thinks “Why not stay until they make me leave?”

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

51 responses to “Willie Cauley-Stein will consider a return, says still has emptiness to fill”

  1. Miss Nomer

    I wouldn’t kick him out 🙂

    1. UKFAN197TONE


  2. Blue Hair

    WCS is different enough that he might do it. Thanks for a fun season whether he comes back or not.

    1. Willy

      Different enough & enough of a difference maker to move up to top five or ten on the draft charts after next year, just do what feels righr for you and best of luck regardless of which way you decide to go.

  3. chief_cat

    Would love to see WCS back in blue next year. Good kid with so much more growth potential. Love his enthusiasm too! Ultimately he needs to assess his situation and do what is best for him and his family, but I would LOVE to get him back for another season!

    1. Luther

      Agree, but the money pull will be too much for him to resist…

  4. Bubba Earl

    I believe good ol’ Rexy has sent his respect out the window! Good luck, socially and in business with anything BBN.

    1. classof68

      Rex can kiss his jersey ever being retired IMO.

  5. Sayre

    Karl Towns, WCS, and Trey Lyles? Now that is one hell of a front court. Could we have another year of Alex Poythress as well? That right there is right of the bat the best front court in the country.

    1. Kevin C.

      *Ahem* …and Dakari. 😉

    2. binarysolo

      What about Dakari? He’s gotta be coming back too, right?

    3. Sayre

      I think Dakari might have to consider going after the end to the season he had, but something tells me he stays, oh my, and I forgot Marcus Lee. I don’t think rebounding is going to be an issue next season.

    4. Rixter

      That wouldn’t be a bad team at all

    5. UKFAN197TONE

      I think Dakari stays, but I doubt he asks me. Ha.

  6. See Spot Run

    Plus, I hear he would like to learn to read before he leaves.

    1. RealCatsFan

      Umm, excuse me, we are not talking about Kemba Walker and UConn.

    2. Josh

      Another loserville fan.

    3. SKat

      Uh, we are also not talking about North Carolina and their fake classes.

    4. Rixter

      Keep it classy, U of L fans

    5. UKFAN197TONE

      Why? Tony Kimbro never learned to read. Ask me how I know.

    6. Kemba Walker

      As a UConn fan, I think it is funny that every time someone hates on KY they assume it is a U of L fan. So shortsighted…. Oh, and I can read and write!

  7. patrickaspen

    i love it

  8. Sayre

    I agree Bubba has really lost a lot of respect, first picking against the cats, then making a statement. Him picking against us I can tolerate, but to make such a grand statement hours before the biggest game of these kids lives, he should know better. Disgraceful!

  9. Jim Wright

    Willie—come on back—we NEED you and you will be a much more valuable NBA player with more experience AND a National Championship on your resume! Ask Charles Barkley—he will agree! LOVE you and wishing you the best for a speedy recovery—DO COME BACK!

  10. Prism

    I think Willie is in the present much more than many young people his age and is wise enough to be able to enjoy the moment. A wise man once told me not to wish my life away. Great advice.

    Hang in there Willie if you heart leads you to stay! .

  11. Josh

    While I would LOVE to see WCS come back and dominate, I think it would probably be best for him not to come back. This season he is listed as a first round pick in most mock drafts, but that might not be the case next year. Considering that next season we will have Karl Towns and also probably Johnson and Lee, he could easily fade into obscurity on the bench or, God forbid, get injured like Noel. He should go, for his sake.

    Either way, thanks for the memories WCS!

    1. RealCatsFan

      Two and Thru rule is coming, so it might not be as staked as you think. Lee is a 3 or 4 year player. Towns might hang around for more than one year too.

    2. Bible Believer

      I would LOVE having him at UK, but I do not think it would be fair to him. He deserves a team that appreciates him and STARTS him every game. He deserves NBA status …

  12. sis

    YES!! Come back Willie… you are my favorite Wildcat!

  13. cat_on_the_hill

    Is WCS wearing Warby Parker glasses? I’m wearing a very similar same pair.

  14. SKat

    UK basketball players are treated like gods in Lexington. They are beloved for their good works off the court as well and it really is La Familia. I remember Boogie saying he really did not want to leave UK, but Cal counseled him to go. Most of our current NBA players return to UK when they can and still seem to enjoy the atmosphere. Who wouldn’t want to be repeating NCAA Champs like the seniors who did it at Florida. Imagine four years with this team! But, in the current NBA draft environment, the players must move on when their stock is high. They would be foolish to stay in college and risk injury or a long-term illness that would wreck their NBA career and the ability to take care of their families forever. I liked this team as individual personalities all year. They are good kids all. They were very frustrating to watch on the court for most of the season, but in the end they put together an amazing run and showed why they were so heavily touted out of high school. Yes, they lost the championship game. As Cal said, everyone was sucking on fumes. Tired legs mean missed free throws. So, not sure who will leave, but I will not begrudge the millions they will receive. For those who stay- looking forward to more UK basketball next year!

    1. Nick

      If I had to guess, Harrisons stay while Randle and Young go. This will make the team very balanced in the front court and back court. WCS is 50/50

  15. Willie needs to go.

    He’s clearly injury prone, so he needs to go while he is guaranteed a 1st round pick, for his sake.

  16. kingrex

    Willie, thank you! This is the best news! We want you to comeback to UK. I have to say, when I see the guys on this team interviewed, I absolutely love them. I am so proud of this team. Willie, please return!

  17. Blueprints

    One more year for Willie….My favorite Cat ……..That would be awesome!!!

  18. tippytoe

    I still think we need a true outside shooter. If you got nothing but bigs, teams will zone us to death.
    Cal needs to land the kid from Ohio and we are balanced next year.

  19. Bill Kinney

    I would like to see WCS and several others return. I hate to see them go to the NBA and spend the majority of their time in the D league…. They need more time to perfect their game…..

  20. el hombre juan

    At least were not north Carolina who will tell you straight up to your face “were all coming back.” Everybody leaves.

  21. Will

    #19- more time in the d league like Meeks, wall, cousins, Bledsoe, Davis, MKG, And jones? If you haven’t noticed, the uk players leaving early have done very well for themselves in the nba.

  22. Rex Chapman

    It’s all about me…me …me ……I am Rex. I am king.

  23. Rex Chapman's hairline

    It’s all about me and what I need.

  24. DK

    Stay Willie, you’ve got a long nba career ahead of you, you’ll never again have the opportunity to be a college player. Think of all the nba greats that don’t have a college championship, they’ll all say it still haunts them.

  25. Capt. Johnny

    NEXT YEAR? He’s coming back…I posted this before…but I think we should discuss…

    Young — I honestly think he is the only sure thing to go pro…he will be picked around 17-19.

    Randle — its a tough decision…he’ll be picked 4-6 this year…but next year he could easily go #1 or #2.

    Twins — this year, if they come out, they fall likely somewhere between an 18-30 pick for both…next year..who knows, they could both be top 5-8! Would it be better to wait financially over the long haul??? I think so..

    Willie — now about a #20 pick..but next the twins, he could easily go top 5-8.

    Dakari — he’s a mid second rounder at best now…but next year, he could be a top 10 pick if he’s in shape!

    Poythress — he’s a four year guy, like PPat, and will go on to have a good NBA career, but never will never be a star.

    Lee — I look forward to his development…3-4 yr guy.

    Hawkins — designated defensive stopper for years to come, but he’s gotta find some sort of offense. Geez, he didn’t even THINK about shooting tonight. Def a 4 yr. guy.

    Willis — Every camera shot I see of the team, he is about 3-5 steps away from everyone else and has a lost, distant look on his face. I doubt he ever does squat for UK. Probably transfers.

    So we have 4 solid guys coming in…but no real stars. All look like 2 year players at a minimium, especially Ullis. And if we keep a few of these guy, then the CATS are going to be VERY dangerous going forward.

    I predict we will be the deepest team in Cal history next year — 11 or 12 deep…..

    Or not… if they all go pro. I sure hope not..and don’t really see the reasoning for several of them.

    Anyway, it will be an interesting next few weeks.

    Onward and upward!!

    GO CATS!!!

    1. UKFAN197TONE

      PP was a 3 year guy.

    2. D

      I like your predictions, but I think you’re very optimistic. If Randle stays, I will get every homeless person at the South Limestone McDonalds to shave their netherregions and eat it all (although I’d at least have some sweet and sour sauce with it). I’m thinking Young and Randle are long gone. Their stock will most not get better with another year, and if so, not enough to risk an injury. WCS is probably gone, too, if he’s a lottery pick. The Harrisons are up in the air, and I really hope they do come back. I will make a bold prediction: UK WILL win a championship with Dominique Hawkins. I think he’s gonna be an amazing Darius Miller-like leader with Liggins’ defense. He’ll be a great guy to lead a stacked Cal recruiting class to a title when he’s an upperclassman.

    3. Hill

      I love this team, but I’m afraid most will leave. I think it would be in the best interest of the Harrison twins to stay. They didn’t have a spectacular year. A very good tournament run for them. I think another year of college would do them a world of good.

  26. Cats, Cats, Cats

    People, if he’s a projected lottery pick, he’s gone.

  27. Great Run, Thanks for the memories!

    Great run this year guys! You really showed what can be achieved when a group comes together with one common goal. Would love to see everyone come back, but realize that is probably not going to happen.

    Thank you Julius and James for a great year. Best of luck in the NBA. Remember what Cal has taught you and also remember you are welcome to come back home to BBN anytime.

    To the rest of this year’s squad: Take some time off to reflect on this year’s accomplishments. Spend the summer improving your individual skills (and free throw shooting), come back next season ready to dominate and reach that perfect season while bringing #9 to Lexington!!!

    Very proud of you young guys for turning the season around and all the excitement of your tournament run!!!

  28. arlo

    love to see willie return but if he has a shot at nba $$$ he better go for it. his injury should make him aware bad things happen. king rex king no more

  29. Jessica Amburgey

    I hope he stays. He has been my favorite since he started. Love WCS.

  30. Roman

    I like Willie. Willie is my favorite.