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Vaught’s note: Ashley Scoby spent Media Day on Thursday with Kentucky freshman Willie Cauley-Stein. Enjoy what he had to say.
By ASHLEY SCOBY
Question: Is there a big man in college you’re interested in going up against once you start playing?
Cauley: Not really. I really don’t know that many people. At Addias nations, I went against Mason Plumlee and Pat (Patrick Young) and they were beasts. Pat’s big and I was real skinny, I was a little freshman. I know Pat from our recruiting trip so it was kind of nice seeing him again because I Haven’t seen him since then. I’m anxious to play against him and the Plumlee brothers.
Question: Cal’s talked a lot about you playing with Nerlens and even Kyle in there, going three bigs, I know you guys have been limited with how much you can practice, but have you guys worked on that at all?
Cauley: A little bit in open gym, we’ve played together on the same team and we’ve been working a lot on pick-and-rolls.
Question: What do you think that lineup would look like, with three bigs out on the floor? How much would that work together with three bigs?
Cauley: It would create a lot of matchup problems. Even on the defensive side, not a lot of people will be able to get in the paint, they’ll have to settle for jumpshots. We’re all pretty good at rebounding too, so it’s just going to create havoc for everybody.
Question: Do you know anything about the local rivalries, Louisville, Tennessee, etc… Florida?
Cauley: I don’t know a lot about them, I just know we’re supposed to hate Louisville. That’s really all I know.
Question: Have you started yet?
Cauley: Right when I got here. I hate Louisville.
Question: With Harrow, with some of his mixtapes, do you expect a lobs this season, kind of like last year?
Cauley: Absolutely. We work on that in practice. Every drill in practice has to end with a lob, so everything we’re doing is lob-based. I feel like a lot of our points are going to come from lobs.
Question: What about the transition game? With your speed, how much has Cal talked to you about getting out and running the full court?
Cauley: He says that every practice. That’s how you play anyways, the running is pretty much natural to how we’re going to play anyways.
Question: Nerlens said that he was something of a football player himself when he was younger. Do you think he had your kind of skills?
Cauley: (Shakes head)… No, I heard a little about him when I first got here, some of the coaches were talking about him, but I don’t know.
Question: How hard will it be to get a shot off against you two in the lineup together?
Cauley: Depends on who’s shooting I guess. If you were to see the lineup on paper, you would say no one’s getting a shot up. You really don’t know though. It’ll be tough.
Question: Have you ever played that kind of basketball (with two bigs)?
Cauley: In high school, you know, you only have one big, so I’ve never really played with two bigs. But if we do, it’s going to be nice. No doubt it’s going to be nice.
Question: So it can be done, you think, successfully?
Cauley: Oh yeah, definitely. Especially with the lineup we have, like our whole lineup together, you can put anybody out there and especially how big our team is. The matchups are going to be a problem for other people because you’re going to have to have one big player on one guy and the other guy it’s going to be a mismatch.
Question: When we talked in September, you hadn’t got to work with Nerlens a lot at that point, so have you worked with him more since then, with pickup games and everything?
Cauley: In a couple games, we’ve actually played together and you know, Cal was talking about pick and rolls, continuous pick and rolls, you know one person pops, one person rolls. Nerlens, obviously, is a rim-rocker, that’s what he does, so him rolling to the basket and me popping is more what we kind of work on. Even in workouts, we’ve got to go against each other every day so we’re playing against the best.