Over the Calipari Era, you’ve definitely been able to tell which freshmen arrived on campus during the summer and which players came in the fall. For the most part, all of the freshmen who come to campus early are more adjusted to Calipari’s system and in better shape, whereas those who show up when classes start in the fall spend the first few months of the season playing catchup. That’s why it’s excellent news that all five of UK’s 2016 signees will arrive on campus in a few weeks for summer classes and workouts.
Even though they’re not on campus yet, it’s clear that Calipari has high expectations for next year’s squad, which he says could be his best defensive team yet. When asked about offense, he compared them to one of his, shall we say, more successful, squads:
“Really fast. Ooh. Do you remember our 2012 team where we rebounded and the ball was in the basket and you went, ‘How did–did someone throw it down there?’. Like we were that fast,” Cal said of the 2012 National Championship team. “This team has that speed. Now, we’ve got to get in great shape. I want to be a great team from defense to offense. In other words, when we block it or get that ball, we’re flying.”
Here’s a rundown of his comments about each signee specifically:
De’Aaron Fox: “I don’t think that he likes that I call him ‘The General,’ but De’Aaron Fox, people just come to him. He’s one of those kind of guys. He makes everyone better and he’s got John Wall kind of speed. We’ve gotta get him shooting more consistently.”
Malik Monk: “Malik Monk, I don’t believe even knows how good he is, and when he gets in a regimented program — he had a great high school coach and program and all — but a college program where the other guys are just as good as him, I think his game’s going to another level because he’s got Derrick Rose ‘stuff,’ like the bounce, but he can shoot it a little better than Derrick. I’m not saying he’s — Derrick was MVP of the NBA — but I’m saying he’s that.”
Wenyen Gabriel: “I’m anxious to see Wenyen play a wing position at 6-10 and be that big and do it with other really good players so he’s not forced to do stuff he can’t do. Do what you do.
Sacha Killeya-Jones: “I’m anxious to see Sacha because he keeps growing. He’s 6-11. He may be 7-4 by the time he gets here.
Bam Adebayo: “And Bam? Just a great name. Bam Bam. We’re going to have people literally coming to games with the [sash] and the stick. We’re going to have the whole student section looking like that. Remember how he used to pick things up, the car and stuff? Bam Bam? That’s him.”
eRupption Zone, Cal wants you in these this fall: