It seems like an eternity since we last saw Willie Cauley-Stein on the court for the Kentucky Wildcats. Cauley-Stein sat out the Bahamas trip and even without him, Kentucky went 5-1 on the tour which only highlights how scary good this team will be when he returns. Even though most opposing fans seem to have forgotten the impact WCS can have, the folks at Bleacher Report have not. They have named him as one of the most difficult players to match up with in 2014-15.
As 7-footers go, Willie Cauley-Stein is unusually easy to contain in the half-court, hence his paltry 6.8 point-per-game scoring average. The trick is to make sure he has to play in the half court.
Despite his length and muscular 244-pound frame, Cauley-Stein (a former high school wide receiver) is stunningly fast in the open floor.
He’s the best transition weapon of any college center, and there isn’t a player in the country who can both equal his speed and contest his dunk attempts when he gets a look at the rim.
The raving about WCS is nothing new. We all know what WCS can do. The Bahamas trip did introduce us to freshman Devin Booker and John Clay has some takeaways as to what we learned about him.
Despite his overall shooting woes, Booker did shoot the ball well from three-point range, hitting six of 14 from behind the arc. He showed that he is a talented spot-up shooter who can be deadly from the corners.
Booker also showed a somewhat surprising knack for coming up with steals. He had eight in the six games, highlighted by his four steals against Chalon-Reims in the tour’s second game.
Booker had just one double-figure game, scoring 10 points in the second meeting with Chalon-Riems, but the guess here is that he will be a major factor in 2014-15. John Calipari showed confidence in Booker’s skills by grouping him with the first platoon of the Harrison twins, Dakari Johnson and Alex Poythress.
And even though Booker didn’t shoot all that well on this trip, I think that once he gets his bearings he’ll be knocking them down again.
It does look as though Patrick Towles will have most of his receiving corps at his ready when Kentucky faces Yennessee Martin on August 30th. Alexander Montgomery is the only WR that may not be available. Kyle Tucker updates us on the injuries.
Wide receiver Alexander Montgomery (knee) is the only offensive player Brown would say is “questionable” for Week 1 at this point. He said Jojo Kemp, a co-starter at running back who has been limited lately in practice, will “be fine.”
Receivers coach Tommy Mainord said freshman Garrett Johnson (finger) is expected to be back fully participating in practice Wednesday and has “done a good job paying attention and we’re getting him a lot of reps without the ball.”
As for fellow wideout Jeff Badet, who took a tennis ball to the eye in a drill last week?
“I’m not concerned about it. I think he’ll get well soon,” said Mainord, who admitted he’s not sure if Badet will be recovered in time for the opener. “He’s a guy that’s always going to be tough mentally. He’ll get back as soon as he can. I’m not concerned about him. The main thing about him is I just want him to be well.”