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An Open Letter to Deandre Liggins

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Deandre,

Hey Dre, how are you?  Do you mind if I call you Dre?  Oh, okay.  Deandre. It’s your buddy Will, you’ve probably seen me around campus a few times.  I know how you basketball players like to stalk us bloggers.  But that’s neither here nor there, as I’m writing to congratulate you on getting out of Cal’s doghouse.  Congratulations buddy!

Now that you’ve found your way out of the unofficial suspension, it’s time for you to make a few decisions as far as your career goes.  Like it or not, you probably won’t be cracking the starting line up this year. That John Wall guy, he’s pretty good, yeah?  So is Bledsoe, and the three spot is pretty crowded as is.  But I’m not saying you don’t have options.  In fact, that’s the opposite of what you need to be thinking right now.  Let’s look at the directions your career can go in.

1.) Defensive stopper – I want you to look at the minutes logged the season by your team mates, and tell me which one sticks out the most.  It’s Ramon, isn’t it?  Only rarely do you see Harris pour in the points, and in fact he sometimes looks like an offensive liability to the team.  But he still gets minutes, and that’s because he plays hard nosed defense, and has a tendency to come up with every clutch rebound the team needs.  Take this year to study how Ramon plays.  If you can combine the tenacity of Ramon’s game with the talent you possess on the offensive side of the game, you will work yourself into the rotation before the season ends. You will also find yourself in prime position next season to be a key contributor.

2.)  Future leader – Ramon isn’t the only person you should be studying, though.  You certainly don’t need me to tell you that emulating John Wall’s game will make you a better player, but you need to look at more than his flashy open court dominance.  Watch how Wall and Patterson interact with the team this year, learn from them. Next year your team leaders will be gone, and you will be a junior with a year under his belt.  It could very well be your chance to step in and fill that void, so learn from some of the best in the game while they’re still around.

3.)  Vagabond – This picture isn’t as rosey as the other two.  There are rumors, as there always will be, that you were (or are,) considering a transfer.  I cannot emphasize this point enough, DO NOT DO IT. I’m not speaking as a fan, here, but as someone that has put themselves in your shoes.  So long as you can stay out of trouble, and are willing to put the work in, Calipari is the best coach you could ask for.  He plays a brand of basketball that will allow for you to show off your talents, and he has the ability to keep UK in the spotlight.  If you were to transfer, after sitting out a year you would most likely end up watching your playing days fizzle out at a second rate program.  Stick with Cal, commit to becoming a better player, and you could be a star.

Frankly, we’re all happy to have you back.  You can be the X Factor that this team needs off the bench, if you commit yourself to succeeding.

Good Luck and Best Wishes,

Will Lentz

Article written by Will Lentz