By LARRY VAUGHT
Marcus Lee got three points, six rebounds and two blocked shots in 14 minutes against Northern Kentucky Sunday in a 93-63 win. However, he’s quickly becoming a favorite with UK coach John Calipari.
“A kid like Marcus Lee who is a McDonald’s All-American trust me and our staff. Tell me how you want me to play. You want me right now not to be in that seven (man playing rotation)? That’s fine. I said if there’s foul trouble injury you’re in the seven,” Calipari said. “If I can figure out ways to slide you in, I’m going to.
“But this program is going to be about you Marcus Lee. I just need you to get better. I’m going to coach you and I’m going to develop you, and understand right now these guys are ahead of you, but that doesn’t mean anything. You know what he responds? Greatest kid. Tried to leave the locker room, he forgot shoes he was walking out with bare feet. I said what are you doing? He said, oh, I forgot my shoes.”
And it’s easy for Calipari to want to play the freshman.
“The biggest thing, he can guard five positions. He was guarding their point guard today. He was guarding the center today. He can guard everybody,” the Kentucky coach said. “You can put him in the game and he can guard whoever you need to guard. He’ll even tell you, let me guard him. I said he’s 6-foot. I know, he ain’t scoring on me. So I’m just — I’m happy right now that we’re able to get him some minutes.
“Again, 14 minutes maybe not a whole lot, but it is. 14 minutes is a lot of minutes because most of the guys, you know, again, I gave the six minutes to Jon Hood and those guys their guys that would have played 25, 26 minutes. That’s a lot of minutes. He’s good. He’s a good player”