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Wenyen Gabriel ready to be John Calipari’s next great defender

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Next up in’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 “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

[Meet the Wildcats: Gabriel comes to Kentucky welcoming defensive challenges]

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

4 Comments for Wenyen Gabriel ready to be John Calipari’s next great defender

  1. wildcatmatt27
    10:27 am August 18, 2016 Permalink

    Might want to proof read your title and complete story.

    • UKBlueGreen
      10:35 am August 18, 2016 Permalink


    • Mrs. Tyler Thompson
      10:37 am August 18, 2016 Permalink

      Well aren’t we a fun peanut gallery this morning?

  2. Me likie the sound o’ dat!

    Seriously, there’s nothing like having an AD, Nerlens, or Willie/KAT in the middle swatting shots & intimidating guys so much that they dribble out of the lane because they don’t want any more (like the UCLA/Kansas games in the 14-15 season).