Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was a guest on Evan Daniel’s podcast yesterday and reflected on his time at Kentucky, specifically, what he learned from John Calipari. Shai, who is projected to go anywhere from eighth to fifteenth in the draft, said Cal’s greatest talent is preparing his guys for the mental rigors of being a professional.
“What he really does is teach you how to be a pro,” Shai said. “To play for Coach Cal and be successful, you have to be really mentally tough. I think he does a great job of that, preparing his players for the next level. You’re going to go through a lot of things at the pro level, ups and downs. You have to be mentally tough to get through them and still succeed. That’s what he does the best.”
Shai developed a reputation as the hardest worker on the team last season, which he said stemmed from some self-reflection over Christmas break.
“During Christmas break, I went home and watched a lot of film to figure out why I was playing the way that I was. I just tried to take advantage of the situation I had the rest of the season. I knew after the season was over what I wanted to do with the game and I said, I’m going to give it my all the rest of the season, and that’s what I tried to do night in and night out.”
Of course, Shai being Shai, he wasn’t totally satisfied with his college career.
“I think I did okay. There’s always room for improvement.”
To hear more from Shai about his time at Kentucky and how he’s preparing for the NBA Draft, check out “The Sidelines with Evan Daniels” on iTunes. While you’re at it, subscribe, because Evan’s interview with Kevin Knox last week was just as good.