We leave for Canada in a few hours and rather than packing and turning my Amurrican money into funny looking paper, I spent the morning in Memorial Coliseum with Coach Cal and the boys. The team had their final practice this afternoon and will leave for Canada this evening. Go Cats…
— In sad but not so shocking news, Coach Cal reiterated that Enes Kanter will not be making the trip to Canada. Enes will be hanging out with his father, Bigger Enes, while his teammates are up north. Not only is this a blow to the team’s depth down low, but it is heartbreaking to everyone who is anxiously awaiting his debut. I will be calling the U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs and demanding a refund for my passport as my trip has been ruined.
— Terrence Jones is big. A lot bigger than I expected. He is a solid 6’9 with muscle you don’t normally see on a freshman. I’d say Tolly Ho is serving a side of No Xplode with his cheddar tots.
— DeAndre Liggins. DeAndre Liggins. DeAndre Liggins. That’s basically all I heard all day. Everyone from Darius Miller to the nice lady in the lobby who directed me to the media room is praising Liggins’ game. Liggins says he is ready to “do whatever it takes” to help the team, whether that be bringing the ball up the court, playing defense, or taking it to the hole. DeAndre said he is comfortable with the offense, he knows what Cal wants, and is ready to play a big role as a veteran. I think we’re all going to like what we see.
— While standing next to the denim one, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to ask him how he feels about being an international threat. Jorts said that he is taking over one country at a time. Boom. Take that, Canada. Jorts said the summer play has been great for his game and he hopes it will transition well into the season. Jorts also said his mindset has changed and for the first time he has his eyes on the NBA after seeing five of his former teammates make it to the league. There is nothing in this world that I want more than a #55 Harrellson Washington Wizards jersey.
— Jon Hood spoke with the media before practice but when I leaned in for a quote, I was denied with a message that said “This User Has Blocked You From Following.” I still love you, Jon. Go Maroons.
— Coach Cal got down in the three point stance for a sumo drill against Alan Cutler. Cutler tentatively joined him on the ground and was unexpectedly pancaked in an awkward “Are-We-Playing-Because-That-Kinda-Hurt” collision. Coach Cal then told some story about football but I was too busy staring at Rod Strickland’s fresh white Air’s to pay attention. I hope it wasn’t important. (Video of the hit via Tom Leach)
— Be ready for a lot of Rob Bromley face-time during UK’s three games in Canada. Calipari said he is going to make good use of the unlimited timeouts rule and will likely call as many as eight in each half. He also expects Jorts to rack up plenty of fouls while committing four of his own from the sideline. No word yet on if the 50 point basket will be lowered in the final five minutes.
— Coach Cal spoke very highly of Doron Lamb’s game. He referred to Lamb as “Buckets” and said he has a lot of C.D.R. (Chris Douglas Roberts) in him. Lamb has been surprising the coaching staff with his scoring ability and he is showing everyone that he is not just a shooter. Gotta love hearing that.
— Darius Miller made a bold statement by saying this year’s freshmen are clicking and coming together faster than last year’s class. “They get it,” Darius said. It’s hard to imagine a group of young guys “getting it” more than the guys from last year. Once again, it’s gotta be the cheddar tots.
— And finally, everyone seems to really be on board this season with the dribble drive offense. The returning players are comfortable in the system after going through one season of it, the freshmen are picking it up quickly, and Coach Cal says everyone is working on “reacting rather than thinking” and “actions vs. set plays.” Cal says he expects to go 90% dribble drive this year as opposed to about 30% last season. Lace up those shoes, boys.
See you in Canada.
Go Cats. Aller Chats.