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Tyrese Maxey says UK’s Defense will Surprise People

UK Athletics

UK Athletics

Kentucky’s 2019-20 basketball team is getting to know each other on the court. Competing in pick-up games and workouts with coaches, players are learning how to compete with one another. After just a few weeks, one of the team’s brightest stars knows what will be Kentucky’s strength.

Completing his final blog for USA Today, UK point guard Tyrese Maxey talked about his first days in Lexington. The biggest difference is in the weight room. Before he arrived at Kentucky, he was not a weight room warrior, but that has quickly changed.

When he isn’t lifting weights, Maxey’s on the hardwood. Even though the time has been limited, he can already see what the team will look like in March.

“I definitely feel like we’ll be strong next season; the thing that will surprise people is how good we’re gonna be defensively,” wrote Maxey.

“I feel like we’ll be able to dominate games on that end next season; with our size we’ll be able to switch ball screens and guard a lot of different positions with a lot of different players. That’s gonna be big for us.”

John Calipari has used the term “positionless basketball” for quite some time. Most people immediately think of it from an offensive perspective, but it manifests more prominently on the defensive end. Calipari prefers to switch on defense, making the responsibilities simpler for his young team. With a plethora of comparably sized wings and athletic posts, if they can seamlessly switch, the aggressive backcourt can have a field day picking off passes.

We will not be able to see this team in action for quite some time, but they’re already giving fans a reason to be excited for the 2019-20 season.

[USA Today]

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Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

17 Comments for Tyrese Maxey says UK’s Defense will Surprise People



  1. TOMCATS1990
    1:32 pm June 28, 2019 Permalink

    Hopefully we can play suffocating D and get out and score easy buckets on O. Would love to play small ball full court pressure



  2. terwilliger
    1:43 pm June 28, 2019 Permalink

    Talk is cheap. We hear things every year from freshmen who have never played a minute of high D-1 ball. I love the positivity, but let your game do the talking and lead us back to the promised land!



    • ClutchCargo
      2:18 pm June 28, 2019 Permalink

      There’s nothing wrong with putting yourself out there as a way of making yourself accountable for backing it up. Everyone is motivated in different ways, maybe this is his.



  3. terwilliger
    1:44 pm June 28, 2019 Permalink

    And I’ll add that we have switched on every ball screen since Cal has been here, and it’s gotten us a million draft picks and 1 title. That strategy tends to get burned by hot shooters late in the tournament.



    • John Capilari
      2:06 pm June 28, 2019 Permalink

      Somebody woke up on the wrong side of the bed with their panties in a wad.



    • catsarerunnin
      10:12 pm June 28, 2019 Permalink

      Only one title. You want some whine with your cheese wiz?



  4. Underdog
    2:30 pm June 28, 2019 Permalink

    I honestly cannot comprehend how this past year we could not defend (Nov&Dec) against straight line drives to the basket even against teams like Transylvania.

    The first rule in defense is to stay in front of your man, and we couldn’t do that even if the player was the quickest person on our team. It was like we were inviting them to drive to the basket to shoot a layup.

    I didn’t have patience then and I will never have patience for lazy defense. Surely they can run some drills in practice so it’s ingrained and they will have dreams about it.

    The best thing about playing great defense is it is fun shut down your opponent. It is fun to demoralize your opponent when he realizes he cannot get to the spot he wants to go to.

    If coach Cal wants to hire me to teach this principle of defense I’ll be happy to come in and do it FOR FREE. Simply because I hate watching bad defense. Especially by elite athletes who have zero excuse.



    • ibescootch
      2:44 pm June 28, 2019 Permalink

      Does anyone here have a direct line to Cal, so we can get this dude in there to give free lessons on defensive strategy to our HOF coach? I think it’ll really be eye-opening to Cal and the other coaches. It is free, so I’m not sure how they could turn that down!



    • nocode96
      3:42 pm June 28, 2019 Permalink

      I’d pay money to watch this keyboard warrior actually have to go and teach some of the best athletes in the world defense while John Effing Calipari just watches from afar. This underdog fella would be pissing his pants. Underdog, do you honestly believe you could teach anything basketball related to the team that a legit, championship winning game, HOF coach hasn’t already? If so, you’re getting the crown of biggest dum-dum in the comments today since vag cat and smashbumfan aren’t around.



  5. nocode96
    2:43 pm June 28, 2019 Permalink

    All they gotta do is keep the opponent from scoring more points than they do. It’s almost TOO simple.



  6. nocode96
    2:44 pm June 28, 2019 Permalink

    The guy in the background of this pic that’s blurred looks like KAT and one of the Harrison twins had a child.



  7. suppie
    2:44 pm June 28, 2019 Permalink

    tyrese maxey doesn’t believe in shirts.



  8. IrishCat
    6:50 pm June 28, 2019 Permalink

    I’m expecting a a great defensive team too, especially w/ Ashton ready to set the tone early. At least one of Nick and EJ will be in the floor at all times protecting the rim. If Kahlil, Keion, and Sestina can hold their own 1 on 1 and on ball screens, we should really be able to lock some people down.



  9. timtim1960
    8:09 pm June 28, 2019 Permalink

    Cal surely can’t teach defense since he been at ky. It’s evident every getting to the rim after a switch with a big man chasing him from behind . Only year he had some success was he had A.D. in the middle . Willed couldn’t , KAT couldn’t . The twins couldn’t keep anyone in front of them . Match up zone would hide a lot of mistakes. But cal is stubborn in man to man and switching on screens. It takes a veteran team to learn to play D like cal is asking them to play . You have to mold your team into the team you have got instead of making them do something they are not capable of . Also I have never basketball players not being able to shot at least 70 % at the line after playing since grade school until college. It always comes down to a ncaa tourney game to lose a close one at the line.



    • IrishCat
      9:48 pm June 28, 2019 Permalink

      That’s a funny take. Why don’t you take a look at the defensive efficiency stats of Cal’s teams at UK and get back to us…



  10. timtim1960
    11:24 pm June 28, 2019 Permalink

    I know what I see , don’t have look at stats . Defense wins championships. When can’t score on the offense end and can’t shoot free throws at a low rate of 73% or better you lose in the tournament period.



    • IrishCat
      9:21 am June 29, 2019 Permalink

      You can’t play in the NBA if you can’t defend. Period. You can’t be in the game. Cal teaches real defense instead of playing gimmick defenses, because he’s a teacher of the game. Could he win some early regular season games w/ a zone or a matchup, yes, probably. Would he have better teams in the long run or teach the game as well if he did so? Absolutely not.