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Cal says his players turned down the chance to play for Team USA to prepare for the title run


Curious why you haven’t seen any UK players on the rosters for this summer’s FIBA U19 World Championships? Cal tells Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News that his players declined offers to play in order to come to Lexington to prepare for the national championship run.

“Most of it is, they didn’t want to play. I’m not forcing kids to do anything. I think the reason they all turned it down is, they want to get started.

All six of UK’s incoming McDonald’s All-Americans were eligible for the team, but decided to come to Lexington early to train this summer. Julius Randle actually approached Cal and told him he would rather not go, as did Willie Cauley-Stein, who was offered an invitation to play in the World University Games for Team USA:

“Willie said, ‘This is not the summer for me to do this stuff. I just can’t wait to get back. I want to get prepared.’ I’m happy they’re thinking in those terms. They know the spotlight’s on them.”

The one exception is Kyle Wiltjer, who plans to try out for the Canadian national team this summer, a decision which Cal fully supports. The players will return to campus in early June for an eight-week summer session, save a few freshman whose high school classes will keep them an extra few weeks.

The season starts now.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

24 Comments for Cal says his players turned down the chance to play for Team USA to prepare for the title run

  1. UK
    6:48 pm May 22, 2013 Permalink

    Any idea on which freshman classes will run into June? I’ve seen Dakari tweet he graduated and Julius tweeted he had taken his last final. Just curious.

  2. MadTex
    6:53 pm May 22, 2013 Permalink

    Wiltjer needs all the help he can get – he still stinks as a player – slow, can’t jump, no defense….shall I name some more things??

  3. KurtCapone
    7:01 pm May 22, 2013 Permalink

    MadTex vs. Kyle 1 on 1 right now.

  4. mudcreekmark
    7:04 pm May 22, 2013 Permalink

    Wiltjer is one of the best shooters in the country. You will see a different Wiltjer this year. He will actually have team mates who know how to play the game.

  5. Heisenberg
    7:10 pm May 22, 2013 Permalink

    That is fine with Wiltjer, he already has reached his peak as far as potential, I do not think he will get any better even if he stays with the team this summer.

  6. katzrjamers
    7:13 pm May 22, 2013 Permalink

    @2 (MadTex)-nope, you’ve already impressed me with that in-depth expose. You even spelled all the words correctly. Now, how many NCAA championship rings are on your fingers?

  7. mudcreekmark
    7:17 pm May 22, 2013 Permalink

    Funny, the same people who make fun of Wiltjer will be the ones cheering the loudest next year when he hits a bunch of threes to win a game or change the momentum of the game.

  8. mudcreekmark
    7:19 pm May 22, 2013 Permalink

    Wiltjer made a bunch of big plays on our way to a National Championship and now all of a sudden he is a bum.

  9. HarlanCAT
    7:50 pm May 22, 2013 Permalink

    Hey guys, First time poster and first time troll, Seems to me(For what it’s worth)…Kyle needs the time, we all know he will be a 20 minutes a game 6th or 7th man, nothing prepares a kid better than time on the floor, if UK(CAL) gets 7 pts-4 boards and 20 mnts a game from Kyle The Cats will be playing in April….Cal knows this young man needs all the minutes he can get on the hardwood, foot speed and position play can only be achieved by time on the floor, ask jarrod pricket if his 3rd year with time on the floor made a difference, good to be part of the KSR Bashers/Hanger ons/Washed up guyswho want to be part of the new hot thing in KY sports/the guys who sport in a physical sense has passed them by…..GO BIG BLUE!!!

  10. Mack
    8:05 pm May 22, 2013 Permalink

    Is it safe to say that this year’s incoming freshmen already know where the gym is located? Sounds like this could be a fun season.

  11. Wilt chamberlain
    8:07 pm May 22, 2013 Permalink

    #9 I think Wiltjer can help next year in spots, as long as he doesn’t have to defend his man! But If his foot speed hasn’t gotten any better after 2 years, its not going to improve this summer.

  12. SeaCat
    8:08 pm May 22, 2013 Permalink

    Have Jay Hochstetler write about each day of practice!!
    If Cal won’t let him attend, Jay could interview a player that was there!
    All summer long we will be dying to know how these guys are doing!!!!

  13. AADD
    8:09 pm May 22, 2013 Permalink

    @9 – …what?… can you repeat that please? perhaps in a more organized manner?

  14. Heyy_Fred
    8:09 pm May 22, 2013 Permalink

    Read the article and LOVED IT… these guys are gonna dominate every game this year, but i dont understand why it seems every one fails to mention the guy on the left… Dont sleep on James Young ppl… guys gonna be a monster!!!

  15. Jay
    8:21 pm May 22, 2013 Permalink

    I still think Louisville is the favorite to repeat. I hate that because I love the cats, but I think at every position the talent level is equal between the cats and cards. Then my advantage would have to go to the cards because of experience. I hope I am wrong but that is the way I see it.

  16. harlanCAT
    8:27 pm May 22, 2013 Permalink

    #9…I agree, So many times Kyle let/allowed/couldn’t keep his man in front of him time after time, the only way to improve(If at all) is to be on the floor….#13… You fools trash Matt, Ryan, TT, Drew and anyone else who post on KSR, I don’t know if your trolls or just the run of the mill pricks, hard to tell really, but one thing I do know is I will calls them hows I sees them and You falls under the PRICKS category…GO BIG BLUE!!!

  17. SeriouslyJay?
    8:38 pm May 22, 2013 Permalink

    Jay, if you really believe that Louisville’s talent is equal to UK’s next year, then you have no eye for talent… at all! Do yourself a favor and go look at the draft boards for the 2014 draft and see who the people who do this for a living think has the most talent. derp

  18. no doubt
    9:16 pm May 22, 2013 Permalink

    17-I agree. Cal said he would take talent over experience any day. I think he knows what he’s talking about. Early on Cards may keep it close (10- 15 pts.) They do not want to see us in April.

  19. Rumpole
    9:23 pm May 22, 2013 Permalink

    17-Draft board rankings do not equate to talent on the floor or teamwork at the college level. Draft board rankings are nothing more than reflection of potential in the pros, which is down the road not December 2013. If this team comes together by December, then UK will be just fine, but as we saw last year, that does not always happen.

  20. UK#1
    10:21 pm May 22, 2013 Permalink

    Troll #15. I would bet my life savings that KY puts the smack down on loserville this year when we play at Rupp. Care to take me up on that. I’m serious. Put your money where your mouth is. Didn’t think so.

  21. Issel's two front teeth
    10:42 pm May 22, 2013 Permalink

    @15, I smell a troll in Wildcat clothing, equal talent? WHAT!!! UR 6’5″ power forward will get his @ss handed to him, against Randle, Period! Point blank! Sosa, oops, I mean Siva is gone. Your two incoming point guards are not twins! Just sayin’

  22. BigCat
    7:05 am May 23, 2013 Permalink

    #15, Just because the retards won the title this year doesn’t even mean they will win next year. All teams are different this year and UK is LOADED. It was a down year in basketball last year which favored the retards. If I remember correctly as bad as UK was last year the retards only won our game by three little points.

  23. Got CAL?
    8:12 am May 23, 2013 Permalink

    I hope that Kyle grows up and decides to work out hard. When Cal says Kyle needs to change his body, it tells me he does not think he has tried hard enough yet. 2 years at UK and he still looks like a 14 year old boy that is in the band. Enough with the stupid videos, and get serious if you ever want to play pro ball, or be good in college.

  24. Aaron Craft's Rosacea
    9:03 am May 23, 2013 Permalink

    #5- Disagree that Kyle has reached his potential. Due to the lack of chemistry last year no player really met their true potential in my opinion. He will be much better with a decent PG that can find him coming off of screens.