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UK’s Willie Cauley-Stein was “touched” by fan support during his slump

Kentucky's Willie Cauley-Stein (15) pulls down a rebound next to Georgia's Marcus Thornton during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014, in Lexington, Ky. (AP Photo/James Crisp)

Kentucky’s Willie Cauley-Stein (15) pulls down a rebound next to Georgia’s Marcus Thornton during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014, in Lexington, Ky. (AP Photo/James Crisp)

By LARRY VAUGHT

During his three-game slump, Willie Cauley-Stein got an unexpected boost from University of Kentucky fans. Rather than second-guessing and criticizing his play, the sophomore center said UK fans offered support.

“I heard a lot of positive things. I was touched by it because last year, that was happening, you’re getting murdered for one because you’re losing,” said Cauley-Stein. “So this year I was kind of like, I’ll just stay off Twitter, but then I was on there and it was real positive. It was good that our fans are here to pick us up.”

Cauley-Stein knows if the team wins, fans will normally be positive.

“It comes with the territory. If you win it’s good. If you lose, then you’re looked at different,” Cauley-Stein said after Saturday’s win over Georgia when he had six blocks, six steals, eight points and three rebounds. “If you’re winning and you play bad then it’s like (it) doesn’t matter because you won. If you’re losing and you play bad then you’re just, you’re terrible. You look like you don’t belong on the floor.

“I think my teammates knew I was going to come out of it, it was just a matter of time of when. I’ve had a really good couple days of practice and I felt like my normal self. Other times in practice I was just kind of out there going through the motions. And this time I was actually juiced and ready to get back to producing.”

He was also happy to see how well other players played when he struggled.

“That’s one thing that I did do when I was in that slump, I wasn’t down on the team, like, ‘Ah the team is playing good and I’m playing bad. This sucks.’ But I was like, ‘Shoot, if I’m not playing good, don’t play me. Give the other guys a chance. If they’re playing good, keep them in there. Don’t even put me back in because clearly, we’ve got a lot of talent so it doesn’t matter who’s on the floor because you’re still going to produce,’” Cauley-Stein said.

“We still got a lot of guys that can do some things so it was real nice to me that I still cheer on the team if I’m playing bad. That’s what we do, be your brother’s keeper. If I’m playing bad and Dakari (Johnson) is playing good, I’m (going to) tell Coach, ‘You got to play him, he’s balling right now.’ And the last couple of games, he’s been balling. I’m happy for him.

“After the game in past games it was like they (teammates) would look at you and didn’t know if they could approach you or not because you had a bad game. Most of the times when you have a bad game, you’re not really approachable. But I took it to heart and my teammates are still out here balling. I’m going to still support them even if I’m playing bad.”

Permanent link to this article: http://vaughtsviews.com/cauley-stein-was-touched-by-fan-support-during-his-slump/

7 comments

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  1. Little Baron

    Very impressive comments by Willie. A genuine teammate, and from what we are starting to see in games and hear from players, we may be at the point where this team begins to gel. A couple of road games will give us a window of things to come – and hopefully it will be impressive wins with the team we all anticipated starting to blossom.

    If Calipari and these players all start to click, it will be hats off to the staff and the players. I believe we need 40 minutes of solid productive team play with double digit wins if we are really making progress the way Davis, MKG & Co stepped it up at this juncture in the season, as so clearly statistically shown by the Pr

  2. Little Baron

    Very impressive comments by Willie. A genuine teammate, and from what we are starting to see in games and hear from players, we may be at the point where this team begins to gel. A couple of road games will give us a window of things to come – and hopefully it will be impressive wins with the team we all anticipated starting to blossom.

    If Calipari and these players all start to click, it will be hats off to the staff and the players. I believe we need 40 minutes of solid productive team play with double digit wins if we are really making progress the way Davis, MKG & Co stepped it up at this juncture in the season, as so clearly statistically shown by the Professor. It took me a while to believe the statistical analysis could so accurately project the remainder of a season, but results have won me over. So, the timing of LSU is major, and the results are critical.

  3. King Ghidora

    The Nation supports it’s own until things get to a certain point. We expect to win and if that doesn’t happen enough then people will certainly grumble about it. Some start sooner than others of course. I’m certainly glad the fans got behind Willie. He deserves their support. He’s put in a lot of effort over two years. I think he has a big upside and a future as a pro basketball player. He can run the floor which is crucial in the NBA. They don’t spend nearly as much time wrestling under the basket as players in college do. The 24 second clock keeps them from having time to do it.

  4. Larry T Clemons

    Willies says, ” That’s what we do, be your brother’s keeper. If I’m playing bad and Dakari (Johnson) is playing good, I’m (going to) tell Coach, ‘You got to play him, he’s balling right now.’ And the last couple of games, he’s been balling. I’m happy for him.” BBN, I Truly believe We Are Seeing the making of A TEAM….GO Cats, great work Coaches…

    1. Little Baron

      Ditto, Larry T !

  5. Little Baron

    Ghidora, I fully agree with you on “I’m certainly glad the fans got behind Willie. He deserves their support. He’s put in a lot of effort over two years.”

  6. Denny Hedgespeth

    No matter where you came from Willie Cauley-Stein you will always will be support by the big blue nation .We support you and the rest of the wildcats where you are up or down doesn’t matter we love all all of ya.Most other teams won’t support like we do guarantee we always been that way.

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