Now that college basketball practice for the Kentucky Wildcats is underway, pieces are starting to fall into place. We have heard about how good Alex Poythress is. And we have heard about the hands of Willie Cauley – Stein. But when push comes to shove, this is a very young team and this team will need the senior leadership of a player like Julius Mays. In practice so far, he is showing that he has what it takes to be a contributor this year. Here is what Eric Lindsey had to say about Mays from a recent practice:
- I’ve said it over and over again in these practice reports, but I’m going to say it again: Julius Mays just knows how to score. He doesn’t have the look of your typical Coach Cal player at Kentucky, but his previous experience in college has served him well. He does the little things to get open or get a shot over taller and more athletic players, and he rarely misses a shot when given space. He’s also starting to fill that leadership void created by the graduation of Darius Miller. During Saturday morning’s practice, after running Goodwin ragged in a five-on-five drill, Mays showed Goodwin what he was doing against him to get open and how Goodwin could combat it. After practice ended, Mays spent another minute with him showing him the proper technique to fight through a screen.
- By the way, Mays’ smart play is what makes his practice matchup with Goodwin so intriguing. Goodwin should be able to beat him on nearly every play because of his athletic superiority, but Mays gives Goodwin a good fight play in and play out. They both play to their strengths, and both of those strengths are very different.
It is looking more and more like Andrew Wiggins is going to stay in the Class of 2014 and not reclassify. And it appears that the rumors of Kentucky and Florida State being the leaders may not be entirely accurate as of now. According to Wiggins, he still talks with his parents about reclassifying so a decision has not been made officially yet. It also appears that Wiggins is opening up his recruitment a bit and actually encouraging other teams to get involved.
“Every school is the same to me right now. I don’t have any favorites. Even if a new school wanted to recruit me they can. My options are wide open, but a lot of schools aren’t recruiting me because of what they think.”
Teams like Kansas, North Carolina, Ohio State and Syracuse are now showing more interest and that’s fine. If he comes to 2013 or 2014, Kentucky will be in this till the very end.
Even though Derrick Rose is sidelined with an injury, former Wildcat Marquis Teague is not expected to step right into the Bulls lineup and produce right away. There has been talk that Teague may spend time in the D-Leage as well. It’s important to remember that Teague is just 19 years old, but given his pedigree of a brother in the NBA and a national ring on his finger, Teague’s play will be scrutinized:
“I think it’s been pretty good. I’m still trying to learn more. Just trying to take it all in and use it as a learning experience,” Teague told CSNChicago.com. “Just different teams, playing for a different coach, trying to figure out what he wants you to do and things like that. So, it’s just starting to adjust and figure out how to put your game in the system.”
Teague was billed as a speedster and on certain plays, his explosiveness is evident, but more often than not, he appears to be over-thinking on the court, playing not to mistakes. In that regard, he’s gotten advice from fellow point guards Kirk Hinrich and Nate Robinson, as well as the sidelined Derrick Rose.
“I’m just kind of holding back. Pretty much not being aggressive,” admitted Teague, who played with five other NBA draft picks last season. “I’ve talked to [Rose]. He just told me to shoot the ball. He said, ‘You’ve got to shoot.’ The way our offense is, the point guard has to shoot the ball. He was just telling me to be aggressive.”