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Coach Cal’s Mailbag: Willie Cauley-Stein a lottery pick, individual improvement & Ryan Harrow


In this week’s editon of Coach Cal’s mailbag, Calipari answered two questions: The first question was about his team and the second was about an individual.

Question #1: What has been the best part about coaching this year’s team?

Cal’s Answer: “Seeing individual improvement. Every player on this team from Jon Hood–wow has he gotten better. Jarrod Polson–whoo. Willie Cauley? They said Willie Cauley was a project. He would be like Eloy Vargas. Well, I hate to tell ya but he’s (Willie Cauley-Stein) going to be a lottery pick. And Alex, finally breaking through. And you’re seeing some of the things he can do. Archie has gotten better. How about Julius Mays getting everything out of his body?

So I look at us and take great satisfaction in seeing we’ve all gotten better. We’re still not quite the team and the reason is they’re trying to establish themselves and it’s taken a long time. But I’m proud of this team and what they’ve overcome. We go and get absolutely smashed by Tennessee, but we stay together. I’m not sastisfied with where we are. We’re still hungry as a team.”


Question #2: Does Ryan Harrow worry too much about what others think about him?

Cal’s Answer: “Possibly. But again, you have to have a vision of yourself. ‘When I play this way, we can win.’ When he’s at his best for our team, he’s as good as there is. When he’s at his worst, which is not playing tough and communicating with his teammates…it’s not very good. We’re trying to get him to be the best version of himself. Get away from the soft stuff, the cute stuff.”

To listen to Calipari’s entire mailbag, click here.

Article written by Ally Tucker

I once successfully requested "The Wobble" to be played 6 times at one wedding.

19 Comments for Coach Cal’s Mailbag: Willie Cauley-Stein a lottery pick, individual improvement & Ryan Harrow

  1. NBAGM
    6:09 pm February 28, 2013 Permalink

    This Willie Cauley Stein fella looks awfully good.

  2. NBAGM
    6:10 pm February 28, 2013 Permalink

    By the way, 1st

  3. John Ellis
    6:18 pm February 28, 2013 Permalink

    Cal is right on Willie. The best two big men in terms of pro upside are both sitting on Kentucky’s bench, one with a knee injury and playing against each other in practice only enhanced that. Can we think back and credit Cal’s foresight in having Willie’s knee taken care of or this team might have Wiltjer as the defensive stopper in the paint. Given Willey’s offensive skills and guard like abilities at seven foot, I’m not sure if I was a general manager I wouldn’t pick him OVER Nerlens as the #1 pick. If five of the seven top guys produce every night, it’s going to very tough for any team to beat UK any game the rest of this year. They’re waking up late, but…

  4. Jimmy Dykes Caddy
    6:19 pm February 28, 2013 Permalink

    Cauley Stein can guard his yard!

  5. lil c
    6:42 pm February 28, 2013 Permalink

    I love Cal, but he’s full of crap sometimes. Who actually thinks Archie is getting better? I think Wille, Archie and Alex should stay another year! I don’t know if Cal is pushing them out the door to make room for Wiggins or Randle? I know, I know, alot of the NBA teams choose who they draft based on their “potential” or upside which Willie definitely has, but no way Achie or Alex either one are ready for the league!! Just my opinion

  6. mudcreekmark
    7:27 pm February 28, 2013 Permalink

    5)Its a shame how the NBA draft is any more. They reward the unknown and punish you if you stay too long in college. Drymond Green is an example. The guy was really good for the last couple of years of college and he got penalized for staying in school. Now he is productive in the NBA because he is a man. Other players struggle because they were boys trying to play against men.

  7. BravoBigBlue
    7:46 pm February 28, 2013 Permalink

    The success of “pushing players out the door” to the NBA is yet to be determined. It’s nice and all to boast about having 5 1st round picks. But what if they don’t pan out and are out of the league in 2-3 years? I don’t think that’s the good thing. We shall see in a few years whether players should have stayed another year or so to grow and mature as players vs leave too early for the instant $’s.

  8. J Trusty
    7:54 pm February 28, 2013 Permalink

    No doubt Cal will be touting Polson as a lottery pick the next time he has a 15+ point game. This stuff is getting ridiculous. I Cal doing this just to satisfy his own ego??

  9. adolph oliver bush
    7:58 pm February 28, 2013 Permalink

    #6 ” Now he is productive in the NBA because he is a man”

    A stunning achievement with all the women in the league.

  10. Jc
    8:03 pm February 28, 2013 Permalink

    I played at Ky State. I doubt RH coulda backed me up.

  11. Really?
    8:15 pm February 28, 2013 Permalink

    Draymond Green is “productive in the NBA?” 3.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 33.6% fg%. Are you his mom?

  12. Brandon
    8:26 pm February 28, 2013 Permalink

    #11 Beat me to it. Obviously #6 doesn’t watch the NBA or view stats because Draymond Green is pretty terrible.

  13. Duke sucks
    8:43 pm February 28, 2013 Permalink

    Other the Orton who should have come back to school? Liggins is the only one who might have improved his stock by coming back, and he had other factors in his choice he pretty much had to go and earn a check! Why do some continue to think its better to stay in school and develope then to learn on a NBA roster. Bledsoe is a prime example of a player who has benifted from practicing against Paul every day. He is one of the hottest young PG prospects in the NBA.
    Cal does over sell it sometimes but that the used car salesman in him coming out. He does everything he can to support his guys. That’s why the best of the best want to play for him. The reason it hard for the 4 year players is because they where not good enough or thy would have already been gone. The stupidest thing anyone could do is comeback to win a championship. There is just so much that goes into winning it al, luck being a key part. If that’s why you comeback anything else would be a disappointment. It work out for he Flordia boys but odds are it doesn’t workout!

  14. BravoBigBlue
    8:52 pm February 28, 2013 Permalink

    I would say that coming back may give certain players a better chance at having a long and lucrative career in the NBA. Look at Prince. But it does depend on the player. Noel probably should go. Other than him, probably not. If they do, the will likely be in the D-League much of “their time in the NBA”, then off to Europe and relative obscurity. I agree it has worked well for Bledsoe. He’s a stud.

  15. Duke sucks
    8:54 pm February 28, 2013 Permalink

    Why all the hate for Harrow? I know he has struggled at times but he hasn’t been the problem this year. Goodwin dominating the ball and bulling his way down the lane has been a huge problem. Poythress using Tubby’s line look like Tarzan play like Jane has been a hug problem. Kyle not being able to play D has hurt.
    If Poythress and Goodwin can continue to improve Harrows game will get better too. Man what could have been IF Bennett would have had the grades to went to school out of state or if the kid from UConn would have came here instead of Missou. This years team just seems th missing a piece or too. The talent is there but IMO doesn’t mesh well together as a team!

  16. KeepitReal
    9:01 pm February 28, 2013 Permalink

    Has there ever been a worse team that has 4 lottery picks? I think not. These guys can’t hang with Baylor / Tennessee / Notre Dame and all of the sudden they’re going to produce in the NBA. Heh.

  17. Bigcat4453
    9:35 pm February 28, 2013 Permalink

    #16 you have a good point about who we can or can’t beat, but I have a problem in deciding who we can and can’t beat. It’s been a few months since we played some of those teams you’ve mentioned. Our Freshman have matured since November.

  18. TheRealHambone
    9:47 pm February 28, 2013 Permalink

    Exactly #16…there is no way that a team with four potential first round picks should be fighting to get in the freaking tournament. What makes me sick is everyone keeps flapping about how they look like they’re “not having fun” or “they finally look like they’re having fun”. Joe Hall made a very interesting and profound comment after his team won the ’78 championship. He said and I quote, “We’ve heard all year about our team “not having fun” (quotation marks my own). Notre Dame, Arkansas, and Duke were interested in having fun. We were interested in taking care of business first, now we’ll have some fun. Oh, Joe if only our current coaching staff had such wisdom!

  19. MN CAT
    11:54 am March 1, 2013 Permalink

    18–Love the quote from Coach Hall, but the reason Cal wants his players to “have fun” is so that they will play loose, and with more pep in their step. That’s something this group desperately needed. (The same goes for some of Tubby and BCG’s teams.)