- HOOPSWORLD | Basketball News & NBA Rumors - http://www.hoopsworld.com -
Calipari compares this year to 2012 team
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On June 24, 2013 @ 3:38 pm In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Kyle Tucker, USA TODAY Sports
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Based on the reports he’s getting about summer workouts, John Calipari’s grand plan is ahead of schedule. After bemoaning a lack of depth and practice competition during a disappointing 2012-13 season, Calipari said an influx of talented freshmen is already pushing his returning players to new heights.
“Now there’s competition. Now you really see guys blossom,” Calipari said Monday on the annual Southeastern Conference coaches’ summer teleconference. “It’s been a short period of time right now, but what you see is they’re on a mission like some of my best teams have been on.”
While junior forward Kyle Wiltjer is away training with the Canadian national developmental team, where he is no doubt also improving, Calipari said sophomores Alex Poythress and Willie Cauley-Stein are benefiting most from the arrival of star freshmen. Poythress is squaring off with Julius Randle, the nation’s top-rated power forward in his class, and Cauley-Stein is battling Dakari Johnson, the top-rated center.
“Both of them are challenged,” Calipari said. “Willie’s challenged by the other big guys. Alex is challenged by Julius and the other guys. So all of the sudden, they’ve elevated their game. You can make an excuse, but you’ll be sitting. ‘Yeah, I know, I know. OK, you sit there.’ And they know that now, because you’ve got other guys.”
Three of the six McDonald’s All-Americans – and eight total players – UK signed in the Class of 2013 haven’t even arrived on campus yet. Forward James Young and twin guards Andrew and Aaron Harrison still haven’t enrolled or started working out with the team. The twins were rated the No. 1 point guard and shooting guard in the country and Young is a top-three small forward.
“The (high school) year was longer for them,” Calipari explained. “The other thing is, they had some things to finish up academically. I think they’re going to come in this weekend, and what we’re hoping is that they’re able to flow into the six-week (summer school) session. And if they’re not, they’ll stay a couple more weekends and they’ll be fine and be here. But I’m excited about those … [For more on John Calipari compares new-look UK roster to 2012 title team, click here.]
Article printed from HOOPSWORLD | Basketball News & NBA Rumors: http://www.hoopsworld.com
URL to article: http://www.hoopsworld.com/calipari-compares-this-year-to-2012-team
Copyright © 2013 HOOPSWORLD | Basketball News & NBA Rumors
Part of the USA TODAY Sports Media Group.