By LARRY VAUGHT
BENTON — Bullitt East’s Derek Willis, who signed with Kentucky in November, shared some thoughts about the Wildcats during the Marshall County Hoop Fest.
Question: How often do you talk to coach John Calipari?
Willis: “I talk to coach Cal not as much as (assistant) coach (Orlando) Antigua. I talk to coach Antigua about every other week. I just check in with coach Cal every once in a while.”
Question: What is there about Antigua that makes him such a good recruiter?
Willis: “He is just a good guy. He keeps it real with you. The whole Kentucky staff does, which is what I really liked about them. He is just a real person and just a good overall guy. I think he saw my talent. Even when my rankings dropped, he told me he did not recruit me because my ranking was higher. He recruited me because I could play ball and he stuck with me.”
Question: Do you watch Kentucky play a lot now?
Willis: “Whenever they are on ESPN, I check them out. When they are not, I try to go to somebody else’s house to watch. They are a very talented group. I think once they start clicking and toughing it out and playing through the bumps, they will be fine. I think they will jump back up and have a good season.”
Question: What do you think next year will be like in terms of your class adjusting to college basketball?
Willis: “I think it will be different with our class. People will gell together quicker. Even on the visit I took, it seemed like people were kind of cool with each other. Everybody is like kind of the same personality. I would not say anyone is cocky. We are all humble and just all want to play and win. Me and the twins, James Young and Marcus Lee all got along great on our visit and were all cool with each other. Marcus was not committed at the time but when he left I felt we would add another recruit.”
Question: What do you think of twins Andrew and Aaron Harrison, two UK signees who played at Marshall County Friday and Saturday?
Willis: “They are just genuinely good people. I was surprised because some high profile recruits have egos and sometimes they don’t. They are real humble, real down to earth. They are real talented and I wish the best for them.”
Question: What did you do at Big Blue Madness to make such a big impression on their father?
Willis: “I was just being myself. I don’t have an ego. I am about the team. I chose Kentucky because I wanted to win and that’s where the best players go. I talked to him and I hope he knows that I am humble.”