Alright guys, I’ll be honest. When I was asked to be one of KSR’s journalists for the John Calipari Basketball Fantasy Experience, I was expecting to watch a bunch of grown men recreate the Along Came Polly “Let it rain!” scene.
Needless to say, I was wrong. These guys are pretty good.
Sure, they may have a few extra miles on the odometer, but I saw some stuff out there that I couldn’t do if I tried. There’s some legitimate talent out there, and most of that talent that would light me up on the floor.
Here are just a few of my notes from my experience today:
NFL Hall of Fame WR Chris Carter is the best player on the floor, according to Chris Carter.
Carter was, as expected, one of the main story lines heading into the event, given the guy goes down in history as one of the best receivers to play the game of football. In basketball, however, his age showed today.
Carter made his presence known, but not as the freak athlete you might expect him to be. Every chance he got, he found a way to talk trash and make an attempt to get in the head of his opponents. He wasn’t the best scorer, but was fairly consistent on the defensive side of the ball and rebounded fairly well for a guy that used to make opposing corners look silly. Was he good? Yeah, I’ll give him that. But he didn’t dominate like I expected him to. We’ll see how he does tomorrow.
Coaches are VICIOUS.
Man, Tony Barbee and John Robic were tenacious on the sidelines today. Whether it was getting their players to hustle up and down the court, calling out specific plays, or arguing over a foul call, they certainly put on their “head coach hats” today, and I think the players really enjoyed it. They paid to live the life of a UK player this weekend, and they certainly got it on that end.
UK basketball players were great sports for the campers
Nearly every UK player/Fantasy Camp manager out there at one point or another grabbed water for the players, towels, wiped up the floors, etc. Bam Adebayo got on his hands and knees to wipe sweat off the floor a few times, which was fairly amusing to see.
Not only were the UK guys great on clean-up duty, but they were the biggest cheerleaders I’ve ever seen for their respective assigned teams. Mychal Mulder and Malik Monk went crazy for every made basket, especially on a few pull up threes. De’Aaron Fox and Derek Willis jumped off the bench, screaming and jumping up and down when a player sunk a Rondo-esque fake behind the back layup attempt.
The guys on the actual UK basketball team may have been having more fun than the Fantasy Experience participants.
Speaking of Malik Monk, his attire today was something to marvel, as well. His camouflage shirt and hat combo stood out among his peers.
We have an early MVP favorite
Daryl Towe on the Ambrosia Treatment Center squad was the best player on the floor, and it wasn’t even close (Sorry, Chris Carter.) He was an athletic specimen, physical presence on the defensive side of the ball, and pretty much scored when he wanted to. He got a little trigger happy there for a while, but I guess you have the ability to do that when you drop a smooth 41 points in your Fantasy Camp debut. After day one, he’s the early MVP favorite.
We may or may not have witnessed Tayshaun Prince’s clone today.
Fantasy camp veteran Jacob Yunker unleashed his inner Tayshaun Prince, hitting 5 threes in the final game of the day. Our own Matt Jones was quick to jump out on the floor and yell “DON’T LEAVE HIM OPEN!!!” after every made bucket. If it weren’t for Daryl Towe’s unbelievable scoring output, Yunker would’ve won MVP in the last game. He’s even #21, for crying out loud.
Isaac Humphries’ favorite food is broccoli, apparently.
KSR’s Haley Simpson asked the 7-footer out of Australia what his go-to snack is, and apparently he really likes broccoli. So there’s that.
The UK basketball team is going to be fun to watch
I can’t give out specifics, but even in the light shoot arounds I saw throughout the day, the UK players were extremely impressive. I always knew Bam Adebayo was a grown man, but he looks even bigger in person than I expected. Isaac Humphries looks like he has cut a ton of weight and bulked up with muscle. Both Malik Monk and De’Aaron Fox are a bit taller than I expected. Wenyen Gabriel is putting on some much-needed muscle. I’ve already said too much. That’s all you get.
I’ll be back tomorrow to cover CatsCenter, the UK-version of SportsCenter for these athletes, and to check out some more competitive game action.
Happy #NationalDogDay, everyone!