Willie Cauley-Stein has been less than thrilling in his last three performances as a Wildcat and many fans have been worried he has retreated to being stuck in his old ways. There are many theories of why his performance has decreased since shooting 7-of-9 from the floor against Vanderbilt.
My favorite two theories include: It’s because he isn’t wearing his headband anymore or it’s because he dyed his hair back. BTW, Willie’s hair is proof the fans will never be please with moves made by the players since half the fans complained when he dyed his hair, and even more complained with he returned it to his natural color.
Anyways. Since playing Vanderbilt, WCS has barely made an impact in favor of the Cats. Against Arkansas, he played for 18 minutes and only shot for two field goals (one of two he made). Against Tennessee he played for 19 minutes and missed all five of his field goals. Finally, Tuesday against Texas A&M Willie only played for 9 minutes after going 0-2 from the floor and missing 3-of-4 free throws.
Cal thinks Willie knows what he needs to do to get his game back on track, and yes, part of it is getting rid of the clutter. Willie has been getting extra time in at the gym and working hard to prove to everyone he still has game. Cal talked about seeing that change in practice.
“He was outstanding yesterday. It was good to see him back to instead of avoiding everything to creating to doing the stuff we all see him do,” he said. “You go down that road and start thinking the wrong way. This game is more mental than physical and everything else. And for him he got away from what he was doing to set himself apart.”
While Willie might be on the right track, Cal talked about why it’s important he stays on that track even if he feels defeated.
“It’s like a diet. You do right for five days but doesn’t mean you’re going to lose 72 pounds, you might even gain weight, but you’re doing the right stuff so you stay with it and you know it’s going to work.”
Of course Cal had some good advice to give Willie and Cal’s words of wisdom are words every Kentucky fan should live by.
“(I said) Willie when you have it going good, you better keep riding the stuff you’re doing well. If you embrace the wrong stuff you start sliding the other way and that’s a hard slide.”
Sidenote: Apparently Willie had a nasty spill. Hopefully this won’t be a setback as he tries to better his play on the court. Cal told media he still expects him to play tomorrow.
“He banged his head in the last play and I haven’t seen him yet. He should be fine tomorrow.”