By LARRY VAUGHT
No matter how well freshman Bam Adebayo continues to play this year, Kentucky assistant coach believes he has so much potential that no one is going to see his best basketball this season.
“I think hopefully we can get him to be his best version right now before he leaves us – whenever that time is,” Justus said Monday. “Bam is a guy that comes in every day and just has a tremendous desire and thirst to be the best he can be, and then also have others around him be at their best.”
Adebayo was expected to give UK an inside presence that Skal Labissiere and Marcus Lee could not provide last year. Sophomore Isaiah Briscoe would not say Monday that UK lacked a post presence last year, but he admits Adebayo is different.
“Bam just gives us a consistent inside presence. That’s big for us. Every team double teams him, which lets the lane be open for us guards. I think Bam playing the way he is, is going to take us far. We just need his confidence to keep growing. We’re starting to feed him the ball and he’s doing what he do,” Briscoe said.
“I think you have to be mean on the court. It starts in practice. Like Coach said, we’re in there competing with each other. We’re acting like we don’t know each other, just for the love of the game and just to get each other better. Nobody on this team can really be soft. It starts in practice. If you’re soft in practice you’re going to see us every day. You just gotta have a different attitude coming into practice every day.
“Bam is Bam. He’s big. He dunks on people. He’s gotta be mean. That’s just something that he’s gotta do. People respect that and when they see it he scares people. People are scared of that. It’s a good thing he’s on our team.”