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UK’s Cauley-Stein stands out in many ways
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On October 15, 2013 @ 12:03 pm In NCAA,Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Kyle Tucker, USA TODAY Sports
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Willie Cauley-Stein stands out among most of his classmates at the University of Kentucky. There aren’t many 7-footers on campus, and certainly none so famous already as sophomores or so likely to make millions in the NBA just a year from now.
But Cauley-Stein also sticks out from fellow basketball stars. His fashion — an eclectic mix of horn-rimmed glasses, bow ties, bright colors, occasionally even cutoff sweat pants — and his focus, often on art and the (fictional) undead as much as basketball, set him apart.
He’s a rare creature: looks like the prototypical athlete, acts like the average college kid, slightly out of place in both worlds. Cauley-Stein likes it that way.
“I really found myself over the summer,” he said. “I’m just unique. I do my own thing. I live by my own rules.”
He drives a Saturn hybrid, rides a skateboard and tweeted recently that a bicycle is “on my list of things to buy next week.” He also tweeted that “if I get my hands on some colored pants, RIP to other people’s swag.”
He’s always drawing things too abstract for teammate Alex Poythress to identify, and he keeps his fellow sophomore up pondering the zombie TV series “The Walking Dead” until the wee hours.
“Talking about what if we really had a zombie apocalypse,” said Poythress, who could’ve had his own room in the palatial Wildcat Coal Lodge but chose to bunk with Cauley-Stein. “Willie is different … but it’s interesting talking with him. You learn a different insight of life talking to him. He’s comfortable. He’s Willie. He’s not going to change for nobody. He’s cool being in La-La Land, which he is.”
The Wildcats’ renewed national title hopes hinge, in part, on Cauley-Stein being comfortable not only in his own skin but also in a larger leadership role. He hasn’t always been at ease in either.
“I used to be super self-conscious about my height,” he said. “I mean, going everywhere and someone just looking at you. You’re never not in the spotlight. I don’t like to be in the spotlight. I like to just chill and
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