This morning, Kenny Walker called in to Kentucky Sports Radio to talk about watching the new Cats play in a recent practice. Last night, Walker got us all excited when he said he believes Julius Randle is the most talented player to come to Kentucky since Shawn Kemp, and today, he said Randle “has the body almost of a young LeBron James,” and is a lot more athletic than he thought he would be. Walker watched Randle play against DeMarcus Cousins earlier this summer, and said that the incoming freshman “didn’t back down one bit,” and “has the attitude and personality to be a very, very dominant player.”
More, more, we want more! When asked if he thought Randle will be a star, Kenny said “absolutely”:
“He’s got the body and he knows how to use it. Sometimes with guys, you might question their attitude or their work ethic. Just like Kidd-Gilchrist, he’s got a great work ethic. He’s very coachable, he’s not somebody who will lose his temper. He enjoys playing the game. I think he’s going to be playing with some guys around him that understand that ‘this guy is a scorer.’ When he posts up on the ball, he’s posting up hard. He’s open, so you have no other choice but to pass him the ball. That’s the kind of physical presence I think that he is.”
Because of that physical presence, Walker believes Randle will be Kentucky’s leading scorer this season. Aside from Julius Randle, Marcus Lee may have been the player that impressed Walker the most (the practice he saw happened before the Harrison Twins and James Young got to campus). Walker called him this squad’s “darkhorse”:
“At 6’9″, 6’10”, extremely long arms, does everything well. He’s a good leaper, a good shot blocker. Probably he most underrated thing about him is his passing ability. He sees the floor extremely well. His arms are going to remind you of Anthony Davis, Pervis Ellison, Sam Perkins back in the day. I think he’s going to be in the mold of that player. I think he’s going to surprise a lot of people. ”
Walker said that Dakari Johnson reminded him of a young Nazr Mohammad in that he’s still learning the game, but is a big presence on the court. He’s not a high flyer, but Walker believes he’ll be a great backup to Willie Cauley-Stein. How about Alex Poythress, the player that Kenny said frustrated him to no end last year? Walker said he’s impressed with how Poythress has bounced back this summer, and that the looks bigger than he did as a freshman, but now he knows how to use that body. Like many who have seen the summer pickup games, Walker talked about the battles going on between Poythress and Randle, and said that he hopes that competitiveness carries over into practice and games. The difference between this year and last year when it comes to Poythress? Walker says if he doesn’t improve, he’s going to be on the bench.
Matt finished the interview by asking Kenny if he thinks the Cats can go undefeated this season. Walker said there’s always a chance, but with the coaches they’re going against this season (Izzo, Pitino, Donovan), it’s going to be “very difficult.” However, “if they want to go out and prove me wrong, I’ll be the first person to call into this radio show and eat crow.”
Kenny calls in at the 32-minute mark of the first hour, so go check it out: