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Willie’s Woes

As a sophomore, Willie Cauley-Stein should be well acclimated into the John Calipari system, and thriving in SEC play. However, the past two games Cauley Stein has a combined total of two (yes, just two) points. Against Arkansas, he played a meager 18 minutes after being plagued with foul trouble nearly the entire game, and took just two shots. Yesterday, Willie was 0-5 against Tennessee in 19 minutes of play and fouls weren’t the issue, as the big man just faded into the background of this very talented Kentucky team. You may say: “well he’s not scoring, but is the 7’0 big man still rebounding?” Answer: no, not really. Against Arkansas Cauley-Stein only brought down six boards, and against UT he only had three, his lowest total since the Baylor game.

While Calipari said following Tuesday’s loss Cauley-Stein came into practice like an animal and was more than ready to tear apart the court on Saturday, that just wasn’t the case. There is obviously a disconnect from WCS in practice and WCS in games of late. Luckily, other big men for UK have stepped up like Dakari Johnson and Alex Poythress, and the guard play has been solid for the boys in blue. Cauley-Stein’s point/rebound average has dropped down to eight and seven a game, which are still stout, but a far cry from his play earlier this season.

Inconsistent play is something Wildcats fans are used to when it comes to the big man, but many had hoped for stronger results as this season progressed. In the biggest games of the season for Kentucky, WCS has disappeared. Five points against Michigan State. Eight points against Baylor. Two points against Louisville, and now into conference play, Willie has not been able to back up his consecutive double-digit performances against MSU and Vandy. Against a tough defensive squad like Texas A&M on Tuesday, Cauley-Stein will need to have a huge turn around from the past week to play effectively.

Where do you envision Cauley-Stein fitting in to this loaded roster? Why have his results been underwhelming of late? Discuss.


Article written by Wilder Treadway

KSR Alpha Class '12 #holla

41 Comments for Willie’s Woes

  1. Blake
    4:05 pm January 19, 2014 Permalink

    I honestly think that every time the other team has a good center Willie becomes negated. He becomes passive, usually gets scored on in multitude of ways, and no longer goes for blocks.

    • C....A.....T.....S....CATS!
      5:10 pm January 19, 2014 Permalink

      Could NOT AGREE WITH YOU MORE Blake….

      I like Willie…


      If UK is playing against an opponent with MEN in the inside or post…

      MEN… that are Willie’s height…

      MEN… that are taller than Willie…

      MEN… that are stronger and beefier than Willie…

      WCS becomes Willie Wonka!…

      I can only hope Coach Calipari can work on the WCS “psyche” to, somehow, get him to believe he can COMPETE with these types of opponents.

      The “Robert Morris” ‘s on our schedule are GONE! We need to “man-up” against the opponents remaining on our schedule… Come On WCS!

      On…On…U OF K…

  2. Tyler B
    4:06 pm January 19, 2014 Permalink

    The loss of blond hair.. “We have to go back!”

  3. Smart Fan
    4:15 pm January 19, 2014 Permalink

    Willie has struggled mightily in the past two games, there’s no question about that. However, to point to his scoring in an attempt to say which games he has “shown up” in is narrow-minded, lazy, and uninformed. Willie has had some very good games this season, including against Louisville, where he did not score many points. His presence against the Cards defensively was a major reason UK won the game. He’s in a funk the past two games, but in all honesty, it’s more for what he’s not doing defensively and on the boards than any offensive woes.

  4. SheedWallace'sGraySpot
    4:16 pm January 19, 2014 Permalink

    He had a tough day yesterday. He had some good post moves, shots would roll around the rim, just wouldn’t drop. He really has some good moves. Don’t thInk they go to him enough

  5. @William_Titan
    4:18 pm January 19, 2014 Permalink

    need blond hair back!!! We need Super Sayain Willie back!!! (Not a nerd)

  6. SheedWallace'sGraySpot
    4:19 pm January 19, 2014 Permalink

    Thing is – and I hate to say this – but when Julius is scoring in bunches, you know what’s coming. Pass it to him and it ain’t comin’ back. He did much better in the second half passing out of the double and triple teams but he does force it a lot

  7. shave and a haircut
    4:21 pm January 19, 2014 Permalink

    imo, he’s just not that good, especially on offense. If we’re relying on him for points, we’re in trouble. Good shot blocker, decent rebounder, but not that gifted offensively. A good role player, not a focal point of any offense. Love the guy, but just not an offensive machine.

    • No offense
      5:20 pm January 19, 2014 Permalink

      But aside from that, what do you think of Willie’s offensive game?

  8. Dave Neal's Ass
    4:24 pm January 19, 2014 Permalink

    I couldn’t care less how much he scores. We have other guys that are better scorers. Yesterday was frustrating because he wasn’t grabbing any rebounds. He was getting owned by Stokes in a major way.

  9. here u go
    4:27 pm January 19, 2014 Permalink

  10. Catfan
    4:33 pm January 19, 2014 Permalink

    There are a few aspects that I see, I hate to say it but a lot of his points are coming from offensive rebounds, I rarely have seen him post up and get the feed. He doesn’t seem like a physical player on offense. But when I watch games on tv he is always flipping his hands up in the air when he gets benched for a bad performance. I think he may have that “doing his own thing” attitude other than contributing to a team. Now when he plays teams like Robert Morris or Belmont, he shows up and comes ready to play. But when they play teams like Louisville or Arkansas, he isn’t even heard of. Again this is my honest opinion. Just callin it how I see it.

  11. Ls
    4:35 pm January 19, 2014 Permalink

    Or he’s just not that good
    3rd year at UK will help him

  12. Stevem
    4:46 pm January 19, 2014 Permalink

    Is willy doing weed? Seriously, has he addressed his lack of production?

    • No offense
      5:21 pm January 19, 2014 Permalink

      Doing weed? Are you my Grandma?

    • Next
      6:47 pm January 19, 2014 Permalink

      Get with the times. Everyone says “smoking the pots” now.

  13. bigblue091812
    4:48 pm January 19, 2014 Permalink

    Willie’s offensive game does need a lot of work. But, with his height and speed he just needs to play defense and rebound which he hasn’t done much of in the last couple games. 6-12 pts on put backs and lobs is really all we need from him as long as he’s all over the floor, switching on any and everybody and rebound the CATS will be fine. Can’t expect kids to have to all together everygame, there’s been games this year that Wiggins, Parker and Randle has stunk it up. No excuse for the lack of rebounding and blocked shots. It’s seems like everybody else on the team was ready to play against Arkansas and UT in general except WCS, maybe back to classes has him pre-occupied.

  14. kybigblue
    4:56 pm January 19, 2014 Permalink

    Nearly all of Stokes pts were scored against Willie. Stokes pushed him around most of the game. Not only does his rebounding drop off against stronger opponents and taller teams but the number of blocks drop off.

  15. soggyUKgrad
    4:57 pm January 19, 2014 Permalink

    I’m 6’2″ and not convinced that Willie could post me up, catch an entry pass, & do a one dribble drop-step to score. His entire offensive game is the backside lob, offensive RB, & one-handed floater from inside 6 feet.

    • bigblue091812
      5:05 pm January 19, 2014 Permalink

      Dream on son he’d own you any and every way possible.

    • Rei
      5:10 pm January 19, 2014 Permalink

      You’d get schooled so bad.

    • Real Cracka
      6:57 pm January 19, 2014 Permalink

      He’d dunk on you over and over. I’m 6’1″ and was a really good player in parks and city leagues. I took some classes at U of L and used to go down there and play a lot. On occasion I’d try the “all black” court where the U of L players played. It’s staggering when you’re out there against a guy that is 6’10”. They are gigantic and play above the rim. Never mind that they are 50+ lbs heavier than you and any collision sends you flying backwards.

  16. bosshogg24
    5:05 pm January 19, 2014 Permalink

    Willie is costing himself millions of dollars as he slides from lottery pick to maybe out of the first round, why aren’t these kids smart enough to realize this? All of this is from lack of effort and being lazy, Willie didn’t earn what UK fed him on Saturday, he should get a double double every time he steps on the floor and not just show up when UK plays a Division 2 team!

    • GeneralJackD.Ripper
      5:17 pm January 19, 2014 Permalink

      All of that sounds good, but what are you doing to improve yourself today? Like me, you’re posting on a web site…..It all sounds so easy as long as somebody else has to do the hard work. WCS just needs to decide if he wants to be a “New-Gen Hippie” or a pro basketball player. It’s his decision & what we think about it has zero bearing on the outcome.

    • Real Cracka
      7:18 pm January 19, 2014 Permalink

      Well put GeneralJack. But that’s exactly what it is. He is still pretty immature and isn’t 100% committed to basketball. Lucky for him he’s 7 foot and athletic so he has a choice. He could be a millionaire pro basketball hippie if he wanted to. He’s still very young so hopefully this is a wake up call for him.

  17. JHA
    5:11 pm January 19, 2014 Permalink

    The answer is obvious. WCS is not a basketball player. Oh he is on a basketball team but he is a 7 foot athlete who can run and jump. But he has zero offensive basketball skills other than dunking. He can’t hit half of his shots when standing alone, 10 feet from the basket, unguarded. Now this is not a knock and he is not going to change. I know what it means to not be a basketball player because I am not one either. I guess it takes one to know one.

    So we take him for what he is and hope he can block a few shots, rebound a couple of balls and stay out of the way on this offensive side of the court. Every once in a while somebody will give him a lob and he can dunk it. But don’t expect the offense to ever run through him. Our coaches are not that desperate

    • bigblue091812
      5:25 pm January 19, 2014 Permalink

      I agree you suck. No just kidding, I played a lot of BB and FB in my youth, not against anywhere near the talent but I was as good as who I played against. There is only two things wrong with WCS. EFFORT AND RIGHT FRAME OF MIND. WCS has some nice moves and getting better but he will never make it until he learns to give the effort it takes to succeed, which is why I feel he needs to come back for another year or two. It takes a lot more effort to be successful against some 6.10 or 250 lbs +. The kid was a great football player and doesn’t fear contact but the effort to work against someone bigger and stronger isn’t there. I never played a game in my life without giving 100% and that’s a fact, I’ve had awesome games against players that I was bigger and stronger than but I still had decent games and made a contribution against stronger players. It’s takes more effort, your numbers won’t be as good but you can still help your team win. WCS has shown a nice hook, a 5-8 ft jumper off the board and even a nice drive to the basket or lane but just doesn’t make an attempt against bigger and stronger players. He’s needs to take a page out of “The New Heart Of Poy” to get there. Alex and learned to give that effort and I agree with Coach Cal you may not be see huge numbers in the stat box for Alex but your seeing numbers in the points, rebounds, assist and blocked shots and has been valuable in the growth and depth of this team. WCS will step up or see Johnson getting more and more minutes. No one can make WCS give more effort except Willie himself.

  18. KG
    5:16 pm January 19, 2014 Permalink

    Against Tenn. he got out-manned pure and simple at least twice on rebounds I saw Stokes just leave him standing while he (stokes) got the rebound. Very poor attempt at blocking out.

  19. 2mites
    5:25 pm January 19, 2014 Permalink

    The answer is really simple. Willie does not like physical play. Teams get physical and Willie disappears. He had an easy dunk against UT and being afraid of contact he tried a poor layup and missed. 7′ tall and 255 should be real physical but not our Willie. Watch him against Young of Fld. he will be MIA again.

    • sunnycat
      6:10 pm January 19, 2014 Permalink

      Randle didnt exactly like the physical play himself it shows in his rebounding.

  20. bigblueincincy
    5:39 pm January 19, 2014 Permalink

    looks like Willie, plays like Wilma! I was never real impressed with him, but as long as he protected the rim and grabbed some rebounds I was ok with him. If he can’t do that, get him out and move on.

  21. sunnycat
    6:09 pm January 19, 2014 Permalink

    WCS and Randle both got punked on the boards and both were exposed big time. I was waiting to see when a team would go inside and test Randle because he has zero defense.

  22. mike
    6:16 pm January 19, 2014 Permalink

    If he has a good game next time out everyone will be saying how great he is, and we don’t need Randle.

  23. Kyle
    6:18 pm January 19, 2014 Permalink

    I’ve been saying WCS is not very good the entire year but get ripped apart on these boards. He’s been able to fly under the radar because he has mk after games against lower quality opponents, something he can’t get away with in conference. Take his offense out of it, it’s non-existent. Defensively he’s out of position. He bites for every shot fake and can’t rebound. When he does get a rebound he loses it and falls to the ground. Was ridiculous when he had a good game against providence and bleached his hair. Against Arkansas he committed a foul and had a turnover and clapped after the whistle. Guy doesn’t get it. At 7 feet and going at it with these talented guys every practice one would think he would improve into a top 10 pick after 2 years but not the case

  24. Brian
    7:30 pm January 19, 2014 Permalink

    Every single one of you are overreacting. He got in foul trouble against Arkansas and couldn’t buy a basket against Tennessee. Cal went to Johnson and it worked and we won. Who cares how bad Willie did, he’s a glue guy. He gets the scraps, stop putting unnecessary expectations on the guy. If anything his shot blocking is the one thing that’s disappeared. And that wasn’t or hasn’t even been mentioned.

    • Kyle
      7:58 pm January 19, 2014 Permalink

      True, the shot blocking is the only thing that disappeared but it was also the only thing that was there. Offensive zero. Rebounding what? 5 in 2 games? And I might be adding up.

  25. Chris
    7:46 pm January 19, 2014 Permalink

    Can Marcus Lee play please? Does anyone know the stats for least amount of minutes played by a McDonalds All-American?

    • Kyle
      8:01 pm January 19, 2014 Permalink

      Marcus lee might actually be a worse FT shooter than WCS leaving only his defense to be the reason he would play and when he got the chance two games ago he didn’t make the most of it. Why put him in when dakari and poythress are executing.

  26. ky hank
    9:56 pm January 19, 2014 Permalink

    I am a WCS kind of guy but Willie has not done well when he is matched up with big strong Centers it’s on you Willie tell us why ?

  27. musrat59
    4:28 am January 20, 2014 Permalink

    I like Willie but he needs to play a lot tougher than he has been recently.

  28. bluebloodtoo
    11:18 am January 20, 2014 Permalink

    I don’t know what’s up with WCS, or for that matter if anything is up with WCS. I think WCS not being dominant in his position is the best possible thing for this team come march. If WCS was handling business every night, Dakari and Poythress wouldn’t be getting playing time or experience that they are getting. Come march we are gonna need all three of these guys playing their best basketball.