The latest entry in ‘Meet the Wildcats,’ CoachCal.com’s summer series of player profiles, gives us an in-depth look at the class’s most enigmatic player: Marcus Lee. Marcus has been somewhat lost in the whole Harrisons/Randle/etc shuffle over the last few months, but don’t let that under the radar-ness fool you. Dude can play. Just ask anyone who’s been at some of the summer workouts and scrimmages.
You probably knew all that, though. So, some highlights…
“It gave me a release to basketball,” Lee said. “It allowed me to free my mind and not really worry about recruiting and how I’m going to get a scholarship. With volleyball it was just like, play and have fun.”
Make no mistake about it, Lee’s first love is basketball, and that will always be his top priority — Lee was playing basketball on breakaway goals in his basement just as soon as he could walk — but there is a passion for volleyball inside of Lee.
“It was something different,” Lee said. “That’s why I liked it.”
On committing to UK, Cal’s pitch, and the BBN:
Lee was sold on UK after his visit to Big Blue Madness, and he committed to play for John Calipari and the Wildcats shortly thereafter. He always wanted to play for a passionate fan base, and to him, there was no better collection of fans than the Big Blue Nation.
Even so, what ultimately grabbed Lee’s attention was what appealed to so many other players in this 2013 recruiting class: the prospect that working hard was the only promise they would get by coming to Kentucky.
“Most coaches were like, ‘We’ll give you all this, we’ll start you, you’ll be our star player,’ but when Cal came in (to recruit me), he was like, ‘I’ll make you great, you might play and we’ll push you.’ No one’s ever told me that, so it kind of caught me off guard,” Lee said. “It was unique to every other coach that came into my house.”
On his defensive game:
Like Davis, Noel and even Willie Cauley-Stein — who, from a personality and style standpoint, he draws an eerie comparison to — he’s long, he’s fast and he possesses uncanny athleticism for a big man. The UK coaching staff calls him a gazelle for his ability to run, and Jon Hood, one of Lee’s best friends and mentors, calls him a pogo stick for his knack to get off the ground in a hurry.
“My game is total defense,” Lee said. “I’m the defensive guy. That’s just what I do, and just running, sprinting the court and getting easy buckets. … I love those comparisons because that’s what I do: I block shots. That’s probably my goal is to get to being one of the top blockers, which is where they are. Being compared is an honor.”
You can read the article (with video!) in it’s entirety right HERE.