By LARRY VAUGHT
He’s maybe not quite the national name of Julius Randle or twins Aaron and Andrew Harrison. Yet freshman James Young is impressing not only coach John Calipari, but also NBA scouts who have watched the Wildcats practice.
“Everybody that walks in the building, the guy that they’re saying is the standout is James Young, like every day. We’ve had NBA scouts in here every day. They’re all speaking about him, and I’m kind of watching everybody so not seeing it,” said Calipari Tuesday during UK’s Media Day.
Calipari said Young, known as a prolific shooter, is doing a lot of things to impress NBA personnel.
“He is really fast. He’s now not settling for jump shots. So you’re seeing a young man get his head and shoulders by people, take contact, and make baskets, which a month ago he was not going in there,” Calipari said.
“In transition, he’s kind of like Michael Kidd (-Gilchrist). If he’s out ahead, you throw him the ball. Something good will happen.
“And he has a chance of being a terrific defender. Part of what happened to us last year with Nerlens (Noel), some other guys we thought would be good defenders really weren’t. I think this team could and should be, not just because you have a shot blocker. We have a couple of big kids. We can guard the ball better.”