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Calipari on Derek Willis dunks, Marcus Lee being like Dennis Rodman

Question: Have there been times in practice when players have done something you didn’t know they could do?

Calipari: “We have the helmet award. If you get dunked on, you’ve got to take the shot with the helmet on. So Derek Willis dunked on both Julius and Dakari (Johnson), like both of them.  We just stopped practice. Derek Willis is going to be a really good player. He’s learning. He’s creating good habits. This team is going to be a hard team to steal minutes, but I’ll tell you what, he’s playing as well as anybody.

“And the other guy is Marcus Lee, who’s just so active. What he is is a young Dennis Rodman. You’re like offensively, where do I put him?  Then you watch defensively, and he can guard every position. He rebounds like crazy. He’s tipping balls in offensively. He’s got a clubliness about him.I sent him home for the weekend, and on Sunday he texts me about noon, and he said, ‘Coach, I cannot wait to practice. How do you feel?’ I mean, that’s who he is. There was no like — that’s just who he is.”

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6 comments

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  1. Kokamo Joe

    But will Willis actually contribute?

  2. Little Baron

    Yes… he already is… at least in practice… eventually as an upperclassman.

    Calipari recruits with a vision of what type player some will develop into, as well as some obvious 1 & done players.

  3. Little Baron

    Yes… he already is… at least in practice… eventually as an upperclassman.

    Calipari recruits with a vision of what type player some will develop into, as well as some obvious 1 & done players.

  4. Jim Harris

    “I’ll tell you what, he’s playing as well as anyone.” Cal on Willis.

    With Cal one never knows whether he’s speaking for effect or if he really means what he says. If this is a “really means” then the kid would have to be rewarded with a good bit of PT. Who knows.

  5. Kokamo Joe

    Mr. Harris is correct when he posts that Calipari often speaks for effect. He is also correct when he says that if Calipari really means what he said, that Willis will get a good bit of playing time.

    We have two potentially good college players that come from the state of Kentucky. It is possible that both will develop into leadership type guys by their junior year. In order for them to do this they will have to have playing time.

    It is difficult to see much playing time this year because of the depth and the big time talent on the roster. It will be interesting to see if these two will be in line for more of a role next year. Calipari is doing his usual excellent job of recruiting not only for next year but for the year after next. In fact the Danville Advocate recently ran a story about a high school sophomore that he has already offered.

    We can expect the recruiting excellence to continue. It will be interesting to see if Hawkins and Willis actually develop into the type of players that Calipari will not recruit over.

  6. LindaS

    So why is there no film of ‘THE DUNK’ of 2013? I think he did, I think he can and I think he will! Andrew said it was a 10 and Sports Center worthy. Of course Randle and Dakari will not admit it. Willis is humble, remind you of anyone? You know Cal has film of it, he SHOULD AND NEEDS to post it. I say there are good things to come from Derek and he WILL give us good minutes. 3 dunks in 2 minutes in high school but there was no competition in Kentucky like he is going up against in practice each day. I think someone needs to get a bootleg copy of THE DUNK. Go Derek, make us local people from Lexington West proud, will be so good to see you in the uniform for the next several years!

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