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Are Derek Willis’ midnight shooting sessions the new breakfast club?

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Yesterday, Derek Willis told reporters about his new nightly habit: lately, he’s been going to the Joe Craft Center at midnight to get in some extra shooting practice when he can’t sleep.  Willis said his solo shooting sessions last a little over an hour, and while he’s only done it a few times, he plans to make it a nightly ritual, comparing the experience to church:

“When you’re in the gym alone, it’s like going to church for some people or, like, talking to a counselor maybe.  It’s just good to, like, think of stuff and see how you’re doing. It’s really good peace of mind.”

On Monday, Calipari mentioned that Dominique Hawkins has also been in the gym late at night, although it’s not clear if he’s part of Willis’ midnight sessions.  A few years ago, another freshman started his own workout movement, which spurred his teammates into better practice habits and built camaraderie.  From what I remember, that went pretty well.


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.

21 Comments for Are Derek Willis’ midnight shooting sessions the new breakfast club?

  1. ryan in denver
    11:23 am January 14, 2014 Permalink

    has anyone else noticed Willis’ entry bounce passes to the post look like the best passes anyone has thrown all season?

    • DH
      11:32 am January 14, 2014 Permalink

      I did notice that against Vandy. He seems to look for that entry pass before anything else, too.

    • CPKIII
      11:39 am January 14, 2014 Permalink

      He is a big man used to being the receiver of the passes. Plus I think he understands the value.

      I am often yelling at the TV when a bad interior pass is made: “BOUNCE PASS” They need to learn to go under the defenses arms when they are up..

    • The Loco Pollo
      12:33 pm January 14, 2014 Permalink

      I only clicked on this to comment about his entry passes to the post. Willis and Hawkins are the only guys able to actually feed the post. It’s impressive.

      I also think the rest of the teams inability to make good/successful entry passes is the reason Randle attempts to go through 3-4 guys each time – bc he may not get the ball again in scoring position.

      I think James Young has been the Cats MVP at times, but he clearly never had to pass the ball to the post before college, likely due to just dominating by himself.

  2. BlueDeuce
    11:42 am January 14, 2014 Permalink

    I like seeing guys develop their game on their own some and shows they are committed to winning, or at least working toward their best game possible which provides the best chance at winning.

    I wish a few other guys would get in the gym too…not harping on anyone or any group but I think it’s a good plan to get in a habit of “self development” for not only now,but for the next level.

    This group is coming together finally and it’ll be a team to deal with come March/April!

    • Brian Long
      3:32 pm January 14, 2014 Permalink

      I am a walk on and I am practicing on my own all of the time. ..not for this year but for the next level !

  3. rickshelton
    11:47 am January 14, 2014 Permalink

    Love these guys. Fun to watch their development. Hope Cal sees the value of having some local talent who appreciates the BBN and wants to stay a few seasons to let it grow.

    • PhilUK18
      11:58 am January 14, 2014 Permalink

      Agreed. Being from Kentucky you know it means a lot to the likes of Willis and Hawkins to play for UK, and it shows in their work ethic. He and Hawkins will grow into invaluable role players as their careers progress, and it’ll be a lot of fun to watch.

    • Rockfield, KY
      12:40 pm January 14, 2014 Permalink

      I think this team shows more than ever how valuable it is to have Kentucky boys that bleed blue as well as the 1 year mercenaries. Polson, Hawkins, and Willis all do the small things you need to win.

  4. Memba Me?
    11:50 am January 14, 2014 Permalink

    Derek Willis=Josh Carrier

    Willis hasn’t put it all together in a game yet but rumblings are that he is lights out during practice. That comparison sounds a lot like those of Josh Carrier during the 2000’s. Carrier was a nice role player, a guy that you could bring in to get some tick while giving a teammate a blow. Never really panned out on the offensive side despite being Mr. Basketball and a heck of a HS shooter. I think Willis has the potential and maybe this nightly shooting even he partakes in will help him get over the hump. Looked fairly hesitant and nervous pulling the trigger at Vandy.

    • ShagariObrzut
      11:59 am January 14, 2014 Permalink

      I’d say it’s more like Josh Carrier = Jon Hood. It’s a little early to judge Willis in only 9 games he’s played this season. Hood hasn’t done anything for 4+ years, much like Carrier.

  5. D
    11:54 am January 14, 2014 Permalink

    Bounce passes dont exist in the AAU world. Willis’ entry passes were very pleasing to this Jr.high coach of many years. If he can knock down those inside-out 3’s, Cal would have to play him MORE.

  6. UKBlue
    12:03 pm January 14, 2014 Permalink

    The question should be, why aren’t these other kids living in the gym. These kids have every resource footsteps away from the Lodge, they hopefully want to get better, they have to know they need the work; just shows you can’t teach someone initiative. The ones that can make the NBA are going to shocked when the see the amount of time & work NBA players have to put in off the court.

    • jcatron
      12:15 pm January 14, 2014 Permalink

      How do you know the other guys arent working just as hard…just not at midnight. They look to me like they are getting better. Especially Dakari Johnson, James Young, and Andrew Harrison. Some college kids need their sleep at midnight…


    • Austin Monnett
      12:53 pm January 14, 2014 Permalink

      How can you question their work ethic if you don’t know the first thing about their work ethic? Like jcatron said, just because he’s shooting late at night doesn’t necessarily mean he’s outworking others.

  7. snarkster
    12:56 pm January 14, 2014 Permalink

    Love to see some teammates tag along and shoot some FT’s

  8. Heisenberg215
    1:08 pm January 14, 2014 Permalink

    He is very thin

  9. warmups are cool
    2:34 pm January 14, 2014 Permalink

    His shot really looks good in warmups, after that, who knows

  10. ?
    4:14 pm January 14, 2014 Permalink

    Who is that guy? It’s amazing what they can do with photoshop now. He looks like he’s in a UK uniform in a game.

    • Dee W.
      1:44 am January 15, 2014 Permalink

      ? – pretty absurd comment, especially given the most recent game prior to your post where he played quite a bit.

      U of L troll upset he’s part of the BBN, eh?

  11. ==== OL' PIX ====
    8:55 pm January 14, 2014 Permalink

    ===== D. Willis practicing for the day CAL leaves and WILDCAT fans get a real college TEAM coach ! ====