If you missed today’s radio show, you missed one of the more in-depth looks at next year’s UK basketball team that you will hear. Eric Lindsey of CoachCal.com is one of the few people who has seen UK practice this summer and observed all of their workouts. So while many of us have only gotten tidbits and “sources” say talk, Lindsey is actually the horse’s mouth and can speak to the players and their success. You can hear all of his comments on the podcast link below, but for those of you wanting a short primer, here is what he said about a few of the guys:
KYLE WILTJER: Eric noted that Kyle has spent the summer attempting to do the little things that will see him improve. He has worried less about scoring (which he does in abundance) and focused on getting quicker and being able to play inside. Eric noted that he has seen a marked improvement in Witljer’s foot speed and he sees a commitment from Kyle to learn to score and battle inside. Both are key traits to Kyle’s continued development.
WILLIE CAULEY-STEIN: Like so many others that have spoken this summer, Eric was raving over Willie Cauley-Stein and his talents this summer. He noted that Stein may be the FASTEST PLAYER ON THE TEAM in drills and sprints up and down the court. Eric said that Stein has actually beaten Harrow on a number of occasions, which has frustrated the Point Guard. Cauley-Stein’s hands are possibly his best trait (potentially due to his time as a WR) and he can finish in traffic. Once he gets more feel playing basketball and being coached, Lindsey expects the kid to flourish.
JULIUS MAYS: Eric noted that Mays’s best attribute is his ability to score. Mays can shoot from everywhere and will be a key component in attempting to score on the perimeter. He spoke at length about Mays’s new commitment to being at UK and all that entails. He said that when Orlando Antigua first called Mays and asked him about UK, the kid wasn’t interested because he wasn’t sure about playing time for his final season. But now Mays knows his talents are needed for this year’s team and he can’t wait to play in front of big crowds and showcase his skills.
ALEX POYTHRESS: Lindsey agrees with me that Alex Poythress is likely to lead Kentucky in scoring next season. Eric said that while the hype in the preseason about Nerlens Noel coming is understandable, on any other team Poythress would be the story. He is a beastly combination of strength and quickness and has the ability to score on the inside and outside. Like me, Eric believes that when the Cats need a basket, the ball will often go into Poythress’s hands and he will become the offensive leader from day one.
RYAN HARROW: The key for Harrow is to run the team and score the ball and Lindsey thinks both will come in abundance. He said that he has watched Harrow’s leadership increase this summer as he begins the process of running the team. Lindsey raved about Harrow’s athleticism and said that he may be the hardest dunker on the team, even with his small size. Harrow’s shooting continues to improve and Lindsey thinks before his time is done, he will contend with Brandon Knight for the best three point shooter of the Calipari point guards.
Eric didn’t give specifics on Archie Goodwin and Nerlens Noel (the latter of which isn’t on campus yet). However his comments on the individual players and what it is like to work with Calipari on a daily basis are definitely worth a listen.
More from the Peach Jam soon….