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By LARRY VAUGHT

It’s no surprise that Chicago high school coach Cortez Hale has had nothing but good things to say about his star player, 6-10 center Anthony Davis. However, Hale seems just as excited about the other members of Kentucky coach John Calipari’s incoming recruiting class — Michael Gilchrist, Marquis Teague and Kyle Wiltjer — as he does his own player.

Hale got to spend time with Davis’ future teammates — as well as their parents — at the Jordan Brand Classic when Davis impressed everyone with his play.

“After the game we were able to go back to the hotel and just get comfortable with the families,” Hale said. “I had met Gilchrist before, but it was nice to watch all the guys hang out. They all talk about each other all the time. They all really like each other a lot. They already have that special bond and the same goal to win a national championship. They truly don’t care about individual success as much as they care about team success. That’s very obvious when you watch them together.

“Anthony was closer to Michael before they all played together in the all-star games, but now he’s close with Marquis and Kyle as well. And all their parents got along so well. It’s almost one of the situations that seems too good to be true unless you have seen it and know it is true.”

So what impressed him about Teague, Gilchrist and Wiltjer?

Wiltjer: “What really impressed me is he has a truly amazing hook shot. He is 6-10 and that will be dominant. That will be very potent at Kentucky. Not many kids use that and that hook shot will be dangerous. He does a lot of other really good stuff, too, but that hook shot is something very, very unique.”

Teague: “I love Teague at point guard. His decision is always to pass first and get everybody else the ball. He was even that way in the all-star games and very few kids are that way in those games. But when he needs to score, he can score and knows it.”

Gilchrist: “I wish I could coach Gilchrist. His passion for the game is contagious. He plays so hard. He wants to win every single game no matter what it is. He plays that hard in pickup games. He fills the stat line by doing a little bit of everything.”

Hale isn’t sure how Calipari will define individual roles next season, but he says Kentucky will be “a lovely team to coach” because of the talent.

“I wish I had Cal’s job next year. He’s a lucky man to have the team he’s going to have,” Hale said. “He has a great group of kids coming in. They are all four very, very good.

“Playing time is not going to be a concern. Cal could go 10-deep and these guys will be happy. This year he only went six deep and it had to be nerve-racking. Next year with (Terrence) Jones staying and other players improving, it will make things easier and Cal will trust his bench more to make the team even better.”

Davis certainly plans to be ready to do that. He has taken no time off because Hale says he’s focused “on the national championship” and wants to be at his best when he gets to UK in June.

“There is no time to waste. He has that plan to win the 2012 national championship and he knows he has the teammates to do it,” Hale said.

15 Responses to Anthony Davis’ coach praises Kentucky’s other recruits

  • grant says:

    larry , will cal get to take players to canada again this year? i hope so.

  • wildcat69 says:

    If I’m not mistaken, a university can only take their team to play in another country once every 5 years. I could be a little off but that is pretty close I believe.

  • Karen Sprinkle says:

    I think the rule about foreign trips is the same as the rule about participating in tournaments such as the Maui tournament–only once every four years.

  • Karen Sprinkle says:

    You know, the more I read about our incoming Cats, the more I am liking them. Cal seems to have a talent for recruiting guys that care more about their teammates and team success than their own numbers, and it sounds like these four guys each have that characteristic as well. Is is October yet?

  • TrueBlueJohn says:

    Cal is going to have the best kind of headache a coach can have. Who do I unload on the opposition next? Regardless of who starts, there are going to be quality players coming off the bench.

  • King Ghidora says:

    Better get those DVR’s, VCR’s and DVD recorders ready to roll this year. You’ll want to show your grandkids what this team was like.

  • Matt Slone says:

    I like the way TrueBlue & Karen think!! It “was” a lot of fun picking out our starting lineups last week but in the end, it will be one continuous line of unselfish teamates unloading on opponents. They won’t catch any let-up now. Can’t wait either!! Go Big Blue!!!

  • larryvaught says:

    Every four years is right and would look for them to go back to Canada then. Was a fun trip and easy trip.
    and this group is going to be a ton of fun to watch

  • Sounds like a fun time will be had by all, except maybe the opponent. I’m thinking right now I need to find a way to see this team play!!!!

  • P BARKER says:

    Fortunately, I DVR’d the SEC championship, Ohio St., and NC games and it is really interesting to focus on one player at a time and see the growth that took place with each one. Darius Miller is one fine looking athlete and his all around game finally looks to be in place. Lamb’s ending maturity was so solid that I trust big time in his Dad’s comment, that we will see a hugh difference in him. Terrence was just learning the nuances of the game during tournament time and his upside could be off the chart. Eloy showed several initial moves that if he had not lost the handle on the ball would have surprised the hell out of everyone…he really looked good in those recent clips where Cal was feeding both him and Enes the ball in practice. You can bet that we’ll get some great minutes out of him this coming year. Obviously, I really like our returning vets and see great promise in each one.

  • bryan mceuen says:

    It’s scary in what this team might do!!!

  • bryan mceuen says:

    We got to be caution that sometimes things don’t materlize as expected.

  • david ball says:

    UK vs UNC in the final…Harrison Barnes hits a three with 11 seconds remaining to give the Heels a 2 point lead, 87-85…Teague feeds the post (davis) who kicks out to an open Darius Miller who doesn’t pass..but shoots an open look 3 pointer that finds nothing but the bottom of the net…UK takes the title 88-87 in what many consider the best title game in recent memory (mario chalmers dagger to Calipari notwithstanding)…the game in Rupp this year is going to be special…1 vs 1a…oh boy…

  • larryvaught says:

    Like that scenario David. In fact, I love it

  • UKHOOPZ says:

    Not sure my heart could take it, David! ;)

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