One of the quiet side stories so far this season is the gradual development of Eloy Vargas as a valuable backup for Anthony Davis and Terrence Jones. While his teammates may dominate the headlines and highlight reels, Eloy takes care of the dirty work down low–being physical in the lane, banging for boards, and if need be, making his opponents earn their points at the foul line. Over at VaughtsViews.com, Larry Vaught has a great interview with Eloy, Cal, and the team about the senior’s role this season. Here are a few quotes to tickle your taste buds:
Eloy on what he brings to the team:
“I just try to go as hard as I can for as long as I can when I do get into a game. That is what Iâ€ˆdo. When Coach (John Calipari) calls my name, I just go in and play hard. Like at Indiana when we were in foul trouble, I just tried to play my best. Iâ€ˆhave to keep pushing. Iâ€ˆhave to be rough and tough. That is my role on this team. Iâ€ˆhave to be tougher in my role than what Iâ€ˆhave been so far, too. Iâ€ˆhave to dive for balls, bang on people, get rebounds, keep everyone out of the middle. I know my job.”
Cal on Eloy’s patience and how it will pay off later this season:
“Eloy Vargas is going to have his opportunities. Can he stay focused so when they come he’s ready to go and he’s ready to prove that he should be playing more? The other side of it, and I’m not saying he’s doing this, but the guy pouts, or he should be this, or you start making excuses or you’re embarrassed. Then when your opportunity comes, you’re going to blame somebody because you’re going to drop the ball, and it’s going to be someone else’s fault.
What Eloy’s doing is he’s biding his time and he’s waiting. I just want him to do well. By the end of the year, he’s one of those guys when we go to him, he physically can play. There are going to be games where Kyle (Wiltjer) cannot be in there because of who he has to guard against. Who he has going to have to guard, and Eloy can. That’s what’s good about our team.”
The piece is chock full of warm fuzzy quotes like these, so be sure to go check it out. All the centaurs are doing it.