Derek Willis will play against LSU

By LARRY VAUGHT

He likely will not start, but Kentucky junior forward Derek Willis apparently will play against LSU Saturday.

Willis has been out since spraining his ankle at Texas A&M two weeks ago.

“I don’t think I’ll start him. I might. You know me. I don’t really care. But I doubt if I start him. But it was great yesterday having him out there (in practice),” said Kentucky coach John Calipari Friday.

“He made us a different team. But there were times that if he didn’t play rough, then we were really hurting in the post stuff. But he was never here, unless it was early season, with Alex (Poythress). So we don’t even know what this team looks like if I put him in with Alex. What’s that team look like? We don’t know. We have no idea.”

The problem could be guarding LSU star Ben Simmons if Calipari plays them together.

“Depends on how the game goes. The problem is somebody’s gotta guard Ben Simmons, and it can’t be a guard. If Derek can’t guard him, we gotta figure out what we’ll do,” Calipari said.

1 comment

  1. Derek turned this team around IMO. No doubt Ulis and Murray are the superstars at this point but I think Willis can be one. He was the leading rebounder on the team for a while and he played a stretch 4 which of course meant it was very hard for him to get offensive rebounds. He played great defense too. And he made the defense come out to guard him which gave Ulis and Murray room to operate especially with their mid-range game. He has been missed by this team and he is a welcome sight to see back in a uniform.

    The guy is 6’9″, has great hands and decent feet, he works hard and he can shoot. That’s a great player IMO. He could score more if the flow of the game came to him more. He scored 25 when the ball did come to him a lot. He was 8-12 including 7-11 from outside the 3 line. It was only the second time he took more than 10 shots. Maybe it’s me but I think he needs to get more shots. Since the Auburn game when he became a big part of the team he has shot 49% from the field including 46% from 3 range. He averages 6.5 rebounds a game and 11 points. Both of those could be better if he was shooting more and not playing the stretch 4 on offense. He doesn’t get many offensive rebounds.

    Willis can be a star and it’s time we started treating him like one.

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