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Derek Willis is “in a great frame of mind”


Derek Willis played his best game yet at Auburn, scoring 12 points and grabbing 12 rebounds in 31 minutes. John Robic told reporters today that Derek’s strong performance has carried over into practice this week.

“Derek is in a great frame of mind,” Robic said. “He’s carried over in the last two days and really has done what he did there. I’m happy for him.”

One of the changes Calipari is supposedly making in practice has to be putting Derek in the starting lineup, right? Robic didn’t give us any hints about that, but did say the question now becomes whether or not Derek can keep bringing it on a consistent basis.

“Can he continue? It seems like it, but today is a different day. He’s finally rebounding the ball with two hands. He’s playing way above the rim. He made very easy plays. He made a crazy play in practice yesterday, but he just said that he lost his mind. If he can simplify things, he’s 6-9 and can stretch the defense. You’re telling me that he can go in and get anywhere from six to seven, eight, nine, 10 rebounds. I know he had 12 I think, the other day, which we needed them. That’s a big boost.”


Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

20 Comments for Derek Willis is “in a great frame of mind”

  1. StuckinLville
    3:44 pm January 20, 2016 Permalink

    Hope everyone who said he should transfer is eating their words. He’s always had the potential to be a good player, it was up to him. It seems he decided to get serious about basketball. Very happy for him!

    • Kevin C
      4:21 pm January 20, 2016 Permalink

      I’ve only ever said he should transfer because he’s not been given the same opportunity/playing time as guys who were highly recruited, yet have failed to produce consistently….namely Alex Poythtress. At this point, Cal need to tell Alex, “You’re behind Derek, based on attitude and effort alone ; any minutes you get will be in relief of him, or in case of foul trouble”. But we all know that will never happen….

    • StuckinLville
      4:39 pm January 20, 2016 Permalink

      He seems he has earned now and has Cal’s full attention.

    • J-Dub421
      4:52 pm January 20, 2016 Permalink

      The problem, Kevin C, is that Derek’s own effort and attitude were very lacking up until recently. Derek himself admitted that he hadn’t been putting in the work like other guys were. Derek’s lack of playing time/opportunity is on him for not putting in the work before now.

  2. jdarren1963
    3:44 pm January 20, 2016 Permalink

    He won’t start the Arkansas game on Saturday because the Arkansas game is Thursday.

  3. tippytoe
    3:49 pm January 20, 2016 Permalink

    The poll question should read does he deserve to start? I am still skeptical he does…..

  4. Jasan220
    3:57 pm January 20, 2016 Permalink

    I don’t see the harm in letting him start, but I don’t think he will. He’ll be the first or second man in….and hopefully be a spark when needed.

  5. secrick
    4:02 pm January 20, 2016 Permalink

    Seems like he has good games only when we lose. Auburn , UCLA and LSU come to mind. Any reason for this other than in games we lose other players are playing bad and he gets more playing time.

  6. jaws2
    4:21 pm January 20, 2016 Permalink

    I’m not certain he’ll start, but he deserves to play more IMO. If he falls back to ‘regular’ Derek he’ll just have to sit.

  7. huck
    4:25 pm January 20, 2016 Permalink

    The way I count things, which don’t mean much, he earned a start. We have not seen much from anyone inside and 12 rebounds along with the hustle, during the game meant something to me. I know most coaches want to talk about practice, but game time is where it really counts, especially if the others have their thumbs stuck up their butt. Give him a shot.

  8. somerset bill
    4:27 pm January 20, 2016 Permalink

    i think starting him puts more pressure on him to keep up the intensity than coming off the bench 1 or 2 would, so i think cal will try it that way. it’s probably called willis plan number 18 or something like that.

  9. Saul T. Nuts
    5:26 pm January 20, 2016 Permalink

    I really wish Cal would try a 2-guard lineup with Ulis, Murray, Willis, Poythress, Lee. Please save the “you know more than Cal” comments…I think Cal is the best coach in the country…I’m just saying, it would be interesting to see how a traditional lineup would do…

    • FlatTopsAndBlockedShots
      5:50 pm January 20, 2016 Permalink

      I’m very pleased someone else has noticed. Two guard line ups have been better for the big men this season. I understand the level of competition isn’t the same as SEC but watch the South Florida game if you don’t believe me. Ulis got injured and it was two guards, one wing, and two bigs. It essentially spaces the floor like an NBA team would, that was one of my biggest issues with the 2013-14 team with Young starting and just having to jack up 3’s when the Harrison’s are done trying to pound the ball or getting a look.

  10. Long Dong Silver
    7:32 pm January 20, 2016 Permalink

    Very good comments. Most seem spot on.

  11. wh17
    12:07 am January 21, 2016 Permalink

    No question he’s gotten a lot better but he still can’t defend a garbage can. I don’t trust him on that end of the floor. He can play a Marcus Lee type position where he brings energy off the bench or a quick burst if Murray Poythress and Briscoe are struggling.