NCAA rule changes can help benefit John Calipari's young Kentucky Wildcats

Interestingly enough, a change in NCAA rules may actually benefit John Calipari, The new rules would affect the amount of times teams can practice in the Fall and with a team this young, it can help the Cats:


If the proposal goes through, teams will essentially be allowed to practice 30 times in a 42-day period before the first game on Nov. 8. They could start those practices as early as the last week of September or first week of October.

“I like it,” said Calipari, who added he wouldn’t change his Midnight Madness date of Oct. 18. “What we’re about to undertake has never been done before — to bring in a group like this. They recruited each other. We’ve got a great staff, but they recruited each other. It took the Miami Heat two years to do what they did. We’ve got to do it in three months. We’ll have the summer, but we could have used a foreign trip with this group.”


Feb 9, 2013; Lexington, KY, USA; Auburn Tigers forward Shaquille Johnson (5) shoots the ball against Kentucky Wildcats forward Alex Poythress (22) and forward Willie Cauley-Stein (15) in the first half at Rupp Arena. Kentucky defeated Auburn 72-62. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Willie Cauley-Stein and Alex Poythress will be expected to be the anchors of that very young Wildcat team in 2013-14. They held a press conference recently to discuss their reasons for returning to Lexington for another year:

Even after missing the NCAA Tournament and losing to Robert Morris in the first round of the NIT this year, the Wildcats will likely start next season atop the polls. Cauley-Stein will be there to remind the new guys that just a few months ago UK was opening at No. 3 in the rankings and had its own show on ESPN before the mirage melted away.

“Potential is exactly that,” Cauley-Stein said. “We had the potential this year and didn’t capitalize on it. So it could easily be we have the best recruiting class coming in and not do anything with it. It’s that simple. If you don’t come together and do things right, then you’re just a bunch of talented kids that didn’t get anything accomplished.”


Of course with the 40-0 talk swirling before the team even practices, every little thing is going to be broken down and over-analyzed with this team. I don’t think it is a cause for concern but found it interesting that supposedly the NBA scouts are studying and examining the body language of the Harrison twins:

Two other Kentucky recruits – guards Andrew and Aaron Harrison – played for the U.S. Andrew, the point guard, contributed 19 points while Aaron, the shooter, failed to score. Fraschilla said that Andrew Harrison struggled to defend Dennis Schroder, a 19-year-old German guard who scored 18 points.

“He had no answers defensively for a guy who might be a first-round (NBA) pick,” Fraschilla said. “He couldn’t keep him out of the lane.”

Fraschilla believes the twins will be Kentucky’s starting backcourt next season, but he will be watching how his friend John Calipari handles their personalities. Fraschilla said the body language and facial expressions of the twins concerned several NBA scouts in Portland.

“Andrew threw an alley-oop pass that sailed out of bounds on one of the first plays,” Fraschilla said. “He immediately made a face like it was his teammate’s fault. NBA teams notice that.

“Off the court, they’re very nice, well-mannered kids. But sometimes their competitiveness is a two-edged sword. It’s a great strength because they always play hard. But bad body language is not a great idea when there are 30 NBA teams watching. They’ll be playing for the right coach because John knows how to handle guys.”

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