Sports Illustrated has a great read on Willie Cauley-Stein. It seems that John Calipari, in an attempt to expand Willie Cauley – Stein’s horizons, created a book club for his big center. And somehow, that is supposed to expand WCS’s role as a leader. If it works, fantastic, and it seems that it is working.
That was Calipari’s short-term goal. And as for the bigger picture, a new love of reading and learning — Cauley-Stein now tucks into bed every night with a tome of thought-provoking prose, right? “Um, no,” he says. Big Blue Nation can take heart, however, because Calipari’s other attempt at sparking long-lasting enthusiasm in the laid-back Kansan has been a success. After initially reeling from the shock of the hard work required to get through workouts and practices in Lexington, Cauley-Stein has embraced the basketball grind. “You learn how to do it, then you fall in love with it,” he says.
Moreover, after struggling last season to embrace the leadership role thrust on him after Nerlens Noel went down with a torn ACL, Cauley-Stein is ready to be “that go-to guy,” he says. “I want to be one of our leaders that guys can look up to and talk to. Last year I wasn’t really ready to do that. It’s one of the biggest reasons I came back. I wasn’t ready to leave on the note we ended on.”
How was your Labor Day? Well apparently John Calipari had one of his infamous team togethers and posted pics on his Twitter account of his team. If you look, yes, the Harrisons and James Young are there, so the few Louisville conspiracy theorists can stop worrying and tackle that fake moon landing theory some more.
There were other Harrison sightings over the weekend as well and this is a great feel good story. Seems that the Harrison Twins and Dakari Johnson paid a visit to Reese Kemp. Kemp, who has cystic fibrosis and diabetes has become a favorite of past UK players and a rally call of inspiration for the Big Blue Nation. It’s great that the freshmen players are taking the time to visit Kemp.
He’s also become a favorite of many UK basketball players who love his infectious enthusiasm — and Saturday he got a visit from twins Aaron and Andrew Harrison along with Dakari Johnson, three of the six new McDonald’s All-Americans on John Calipari’s team.
“Was awesome to have the guys visit me and means so much to have #BBN behind me when I’m down! When Dakari, Andrew and Aaron visited me they saw the PS3 (PlayStation3) and knew they wanted to get smack in 2K, so that’s what I did! Also they invited me to their open gym, so I’m really excited to ball out!” Kemp said.
We hate stories like this but it appears that there are some that think DeAndre Liggins may have played his last game in a Thunder uniform for a few reasons after his arrest over the weekend.
Liggins, on this team, is practically expendable.
Additionally, because Liggins is on a non-guaranteed contract, he has to make the team to earn his $884,293 league minimum contract. The Thunder could waive him any day and wipe their hands of the alleged situation and Liggins’ salary, saving the organization some dollars while also saving it from a distraction.
Many already think Liggins has played his last game in a Thunder uniform.
The franchise’s standards might simply be too high to have Liggins stick around. Failing to part ways with Liggins after such an appalling alleged incident would fly in the face of one of the organization’s leading tenets — bringing to town not just quality players but also quality people. By hanging onto Liggins the Thunder also runs the risk of sending mixed messages to the remaining players, five of them who this season will have been in the league three years or less.