John Calipari met with his favorite media friends this afternoon to update them on the progress the team made during Cal Camp. Most improved during the break? Hands down, Trey Lyles.
“Trey Lyles has gotten so much better in the last three weeks, he’s not even the same player he was. It’s scary how good he’s gotten,” Cal said, mentioning how the staff monitors the players’ heart rate during practice and games and how Trey now goes harder than any of the big guys, which wasn’t the case a month ago. “Whatever you tell him, he listens to and does.”
Cal said that while he usually uses Cal Camp to get his guys to focus on playing as a team rather than individual work, it’s the other way around this year because this group is so far along in the team-first dynamic. “People may say it’s crazy, you’re at Christmas and you’re talking about individual guys getting better and you’re not worried about your team,” Cal said. “They worry about the team. I try to worry about them.”
What are some of the individual things the players are working on? Willie wants to handle the ball more. “Then you can’t run people over and throw lob passes off the shot clock,” Cal quipped, but said they are working that into the game plan. Dakari? “I want to shoot more 12-footers.” Cal said he made five in practice the other day. Andrew? “He’s wanting to do some mid-level pull-ups and runners in the lane and all that stuff. I said ‘let’s go.'”
By the way, don’t worry about Andrew freaking out over the Andrew vs. Tyler buzz. “I don’t think he’s listened to it. I know I haven’t,” Cal said. “All we did is get back to work.”