Next up in CoachCal.com’s “Meet the Wildcat” series is Wenyen Gabriel, Kentucky’s new long and athletic “wing-guard,” as John Calipari is apparently calling him. During his senior year in high school, Gabriel made a meteoric rise in the rankings, thanks in large part to his defense, which he says he takes immense pride in.
“I definitely take pride in it,” Gabriel said in an exclusive interview with CoachCal.com. “That’s how I earn my way onto the court. I kind of feel like that’s part of my identity when I’m on the court, when I play.”
We’ve heard Gabriel is a little behind the rest of the freshmen in summer workouts, and while his offense may still be a work in progress, he knows how to make an impact on the glass and on defense. Calipari’s best teams have been defensive juggernauts, and Gabriel is more than ready to accept the role of lockdown defender.
When he’s assigned a player to defend and that player asks for the ball, Gabriel takes it as a sign of disrespect and focuses on letting him know he’s not getting anything off of him.
“It’s kind of just like a competitor thing,” he said.
For more great tidbits like that, head on over to CoachCal.com.