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Former Kentucky players lecture top freshmen
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On July 29, 2013 @ 8:35 pm In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Kyle Tucker, USA TODAY Sports
LEXINGTON, KY. — Three former University of Kentucky basketball players were back in town Monday for coach John Calipari’s youth camp and they offered their impressions of — and advice to — the next crop of Wildcats. The gist of the message from Nerlens Noel, Archie Goodwin and Julius Mays, all of whom were on last season’s underachieving team: this new group is loaded, but they better listen to Calipari.
“I’ve worked out with them a few times. From what I’ve seen, they’ve got all the talent in the world,” Mays said. “Like I told them: If they can all check their egos at the door … they’re going to be real dangerous.”
The 2013-14 Cats will include sophomores Alex Poythress and Willie Cauley-Stein, who passed up first-round money in the NBA draft to return to school, and six incoming McDonald’s All-American freshmen. Goodwin said Julius Randle, the nation’s top-rated power forward recruit, stands out most.
“He’s a competitive guy just like I was, in the gym every night just like I was,” Goodwin said. “I feel like with the team that they have this year, just the talent alone is going to win a championship. It’s just a matter of them meshing together. Their competitive spirit is going to be there because it’s just too many guys on this team that hate to lose. I feel like they’re going to do some special things.”
Goodwin’s team also entered last season with high hopes, welcoming the No. 1 recruiting class and ranked third in the preseason polls. That all fell apart quickly, though, and the season ended with a thud: a first-round loss in the National Invitation Tournament. Noel’s advice to this group:
“Establish team chemistry early on in the year and make sure a leader steps up,” he said, “because a young team like that, they’re especially going to need a leader that’s always going to keep them like a rock-solid team and always keep those guys composed. At times, you’re under a lot of pressure, but I have to say they’re in a good position right now.”
Noel also agreed with Goodwin’s recommendation.
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