More preseason basketball interviews! This time around, Andy Katz sits down with Cal to talk about his new squad, whom Katz calls his most unique so far at Kentucky. The highlights:
— With 6-foot-10 Nerlens Noel, 6-9 Kyle Wiltjer and 7-foot freshman Willie Cauley-Stein on the roster, Cal says he plans to use a bigger lineup this season, but as a result, the pace of play will be much slower than Cats fans are used to. When asked about possible “Twin Towers” combinations, Cal said he’d be most willing to use Wiltjer and Nerlens together to capitalize on Wiltjer’s passing and shooting skills:
I’m not sure if I will play Kyle Wiltjer and Willie Cauley together. I’m not sure whether I’ll play Willie and Nerlens together or how much. I will play Nerlens and Kyle Wiltjer together to be 6-10, 7-foot. You can play a heck of a big zone, and the second thing with Kyle Wiltjer is that he can make 3s and really pass. You’d have two bigs so you can play a big zone.
— With two huge games early in the season against Maryland and Duke and a roster full of newbies, Cal says he’s changing the way he’s preparing his team for the first time in a decade:
“We’ll do things differently with our practices for the first time in 10 years,’’ said Calipari. “This team is so young that we need to do things differently. Our first two games are Maryland and Duke so we have to put the basics in to be successful.’’
— Ryan Harrow may not be a “breakdown” point guard like his predecessors, but he’s got a year in the system under his belt and is improving daily. Cal said Harrow had his best day of practice on Sunday, and now “understands how to attack the rim and play with his teammates.”
— Stop comparing Nerlens Noel to Anthony Davis. Really. Cal said they’re still working on developing Nerlens’ game, and that all of the comparisons are unfair, as are those between Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (whom Cal called a “once-in-a 10-year guy”) and Archie Goodwin and Alex Poythress.
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