The season is young, but John Calipari has already seen individuals make dramatic improvements in their game, although his team still has a long way to go.
Returning for a second season, Isaiah Briscoe needed to dramatically improve his shooting in the offseason. More specifically, he needed to learn to knock down free throws. So far, so good.
“He just has a better feel for the game. He knows what’s expected,” Cal told Jon Rothstein on the College Hoops Today podcast. “He is shooting the ball. He was 4 for 5 from the foul line. He made a three. In practice, he’s shooting the ball and scoring. He cleaned up his shot.”
In the frontcourt, we expected to feel Bam Adebayo’s presence immediately, but there’s one newcomer that’s even surprised his head coach. “Sacha’s probably been the biggest surprise. His feel for the game and how much he’s improved is crazy.”
The next step for his team, and especially his frontcourt, is improving defensively. His first concern is taking away the three-point shot. Clarion made 9 of 20 threes Sunday night. “In a conference game we lose.” He wants his guards to force the drive, only to be met by his bigs at the rim. Right now, they aren’t forcing ‘tough twos’ at the rim, but Calipari believes his team will eventually get there.
“We’ve got to be a great defensive team and there’s no reason we shouldn’t.”