After the Montevallo game, Coach Cal was being Coach Cal when he told the media “we’re not a good team yet.” It’s been known of Coach Cal to use media to motivate his teams before. Just look at the 2011-12 team for an example, they were in a similar situation starting off the season, a ton of talent coming in and a couple of key returning players. Then, it was Doron Lamb and Terrence Jones coming together to show the newcomers the ropes. This time around, it’s Willie Cauley-Stein and Alex Poythress, with some help from Jarrod Polson and Jon Hood of course, that will have to step up to the plate to make everything work this season. Undoubably some of the freshman step up and lead this team as well, just like those that came before them that played under Coach Cal, players such John Wall, Brandon Knight, Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. But, for now, here’s what Coach Cal has to say about his team,
“We have a nice collection of guys, but we’re not a good team,” says Coach Cal after the Montevallo game, “I put on the board that our execution on defense and offense will be about 30-percent right now. Seventy-percent of the time, we’re wrong. So, just talk your way through it, scrabble, cover for each other, be a good teammate.”
Coach Cal knows there will be plenty of work ahead for this year’s team; otherwise he wouldn’t have put their margin of error so high. But, looking at what he is saying, it seems less like he is talking directly to the media and more to the individual players. Coach Cal knows these players can do something special, its just a matter of getting them to realize what they can do if they play as a more efficient unit. So, there shouldn’t be any reason to worry, Coach Cal just wants his players to be ready for the start of the season. Veteran player, Willie Cauley-Stein has also notice some things that need to be changed going into the season.
“If you’re still playing like you’re in high school, you can take every shot,” says Cauley-Stein, “You can’t do that, you’ve got to play for everybody else.”
The season is early and it seems as though Coach Cal’s leadership has already rubbed off on Cauley-Stein. Kentucky will need Cauley-Stein to be a strong leader this season simply because of how young this team is. If someone, such as Cauley-Stein or another player or multiple players, step up and lead this team, the possibilities are limitless with as much talent that is on the team. Cauley-Stein continued to mention how that if this teams plays for each other, then it will create breakaways, blocked shots and dunks,
“We’re not all the way there yet, you see it in spurts,” says Cauley-Stein, “Once we get there, we’ll be flying around like that and it’s going to be scary.”
The possibility of this year’s team being “scary” is definitely comforting words for big blue nation to hear. The Cats will have opportunity for revenge against Robert Morris this upcoming Sunday and a chance for a win after their most recent loss to Michigan State.
Tip off for the Robert Morris game will be at 7:00 PM EST on ESPN2. Check your local listings for more details. Also, be sure to checkout Wildcat Blue Nation for in-game analysis, game updates and recaps after each half.