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Derek Willis impresses Calipari with first career double-double


Derek Willis answered the challenge given to him earlier in the week, when John Calipari broke him apart by saying he has been “so bad” defensively.

Willis responded by playing the best game of his career at Auburn, scoring 12 points and grabbing a career-high 12 rebounds, as well as a block and a steal.

Afterward, Willis said it wasn’t Calipari’s words, but his dad’s words that lit the fuse underneath him. His father told him, “I know what kind of player you are, I know what you can be and all that you can do.” He also told him, “If you don’t have six rebounds, I’m going to be pissed.”

Willis doubled that number up for his old man, and the strong performance moved him toward the top of the rotation, according to Calipari.

“I was so happy for him,” said Cal. “If you ask me, he moved by all of the other bigs. That’s my opinion, but now he’s got to be consistent with it.”

It’s too bad his big day came in a loss.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

11 Comments for Derek Willis impresses Calipari with first career double-double

  1. JusSayin
    7:21 pm January 16, 2016 Permalink

    I know we are excited about the progress of Willis. But if he is really our best “big man” the our potential ceiling just droped from great to good.

    He played better than we can reasonably expect him to consistently tonight, and we lost to Auburn.

    • cats paw
      7:43 pm January 16, 2016 Permalink

      by progress…i assume you mean that he actually got playing time. amazing how that works! but i guess his defense killed us again, like all you athlete lovers love to say?

    • JusSayin
      8:02 pm January 16, 2016 Permalink

      Stop. Derek Willis played heavy minutes tonight, 11 min in the last game, 17 and 19 in the two games before that. He gets playing time. Hes stepped up. You are blind if you think his defense had not been a problem in prior games. But he played well tonight. But we need the other guys to play well too.

      You are simply a prisoner of the moment. One big game means you should start. One bad game should relegate you to the bench. We know this about you now.

    • JusSayin
      8:03 pm January 16, 2016 Permalink

      FYI: Derek Willis is a freak athlete. Just because he’s white doesn’t mean hes not as you implied.

    • 25OR624
      8:09 pm January 16, 2016 Permalink

      It was a much needed game – in many respects.

      We needed to see Willis break out.
      We need to see what Derek Willis can do; splendid first half, yet too timid in the 2nd half….but he is coming along.
      FOR KENTUCKY to be successful………he needed this.

      We needed that ‘far’ lit under the Inuit butt.
      You sport the Tat; play with the passion.

      This is the regular season.

      We really don’t have a true first five.
      It’s gonna be a fight to see this team succeed.

      For them to do it?

    • UK Big Board Update
      9:14 pm January 16, 2016 Permalink

      In all fairness, Willis is really good against crappy teams. Don’t get ahead of yourself cats paw.

      (Now he’ll remind us of Gonzaga – who interestingly hasn’t made it past the Elite Eight in Mark Few’s 15 years as a head coach there.)

    • theSkinny81
      11:17 pm January 16, 2016 Permalink

      I totally agree, UKBB. But, you’ll be called a dumbass for stating that around here.

  2. tippytoe
    7:26 pm January 16, 2016 Permalink

    I’ll believe Cal saying he’s moved past the other so called bigs when I see it…..

    • Long Dong Silver
      8:31 pm January 16, 2016 Permalink


  3. Memphis UK Cat
    10:01 pm January 16, 2016 Permalink

    Cal, it is time to put the boys down under in and lets play physical and bring Lee, Poy amd Skal off the bench.

  4. BigBlueBoys
    12:13 pm January 17, 2016 Permalink

    Good Job Derek, Keep it up!