What Arizona, Wisconsin, and Syracuse have that Kansas does not have, hope for Michigan fans, and the Top 10 coaches at improving their teams in-season. Read More. Written by Dan Hanner on Dec 08, 2013
Billy Donovan wants Patric Young to lead by example with his energy and work ethic.
“It’s very difficult to go out or tell people what to do or lead or direct him, when you aren’t doing all you need to do,” Donovan said. “That’s the biggest part of being of leader.
“I’m not so much worried about the leadership part, as I’m concerned about Patric continuing to grow, as he has. Patric is a great kid. And I think him every single day setting an example with his work ethic … I will say this about Patric’s work ethic, he has done a really, really good job this summer. This has been the most consistent summer he’s had up to this point in time. Hopefully that will continue.”
Young is down nine pounds from this point last year.
“Patric has always tried to be a leader,” Donovan said. “He’s always been a really good team guy. He’s about the team. He’s about winning. And I think the best way for Patric lead is by his work ethic and by his example and doing all the things he can do leadership wise each and every day.”
Stanley Johnson will take recruiting visits to Kentucky (Oct. 18), Arizona (Sept. 14), Florida (Nov. 30) and USC (Sept. 20).
Johnson said last month that he decided to visit Kentucky for Midnight Madness because “I told (the Cats’ coaches) I want to see them at their best, and they said that’s their best. I’m excited to see what they have to offer.”
Johnson is a consensus top-15 player in the class of 2014.
Julius Randle doesn’t want to be defined by conventional position.
“I just like to be defined as a player,” Randle said. “Anywhere you put me on the court, I feel like I can be very effective. I definitely pride myself on being able to do a lot of different things, making my weaknesses my strengths, and just not being able to stop one thing.”
Randle believes he’ll develop further under the structure and tutelage of John Calipari.
“Ultimately I wanted to win,” Randle said. “That was the biggest thing. I wanted to be developed. I feel like this was the place that I could be developed. I feel like the system, how coach Cal plays … I feel like it fit me way too well.”
Willie Cauley-Stein has been working to expand his skillset as he prepares for his second season at Kentucky.
"(I want to) become more of an all-around basketball player, a guy that can step out, shoot threes, hit the 15-footer, take people off the dribble," Cauley-Stein said. "Just become more of a complete dude, not just a guy that's going to sit in the paint. That's not the way that I wanted to play coming in, it just ended up being like that."
The 7-foot, 244 pound Cauley-Stein requested evaluations from the NBA draft advisory committee after a freshman season in which he averaged 8.3 points and 6.2 rebounds per game.
"I heard anywhere from (picks) eight to 10, 15 to 20, 22 to 25," Cauley-Stein said. "And you're like, 'That's the whole dang scale. That's everywhere.'"
Cauley-Stein plans to bring a different attitude to practice when Kentucky begins its workouts in October.
"I kind of got like a dominating mindset going into this next year," Cauley-Stein said. "I want to be the best in everything I do. Before it was kind of like, 'Eh, I'll come in here and try to do.' This time I want to come in here and do it. I don't want to try to do it."
Karl Towns is rooming with Andrew Wiggins at the Nike Hoop Summit.
Towns and Wiggins will lead a World Select Team of international players against Team USA on Saturday in the All-Star game.
“We are having a blast,” Towns said. “We are enjoying each other, enjoying time with each other. He is so athletic and skilled on the court. It’s easy to do a pick-and-roll with him. We are going to utilize that on Saturday along with the chemistry we have. Me and him are so outgoing with each other.”
Towns is happy to share the spotlight with Wiggins, who led the World Team to an 84-75 victory over Team USA at last year’s Nike Hoop Summit.
“That has been nice. There are so many great players here. Sometimes you get used to having all the attention and being in the spotlight, but it is great to have someone here like Andrew. It’s very humbling to know he can help with anything I need. It’s nice to have a co-pilot in this big spotlight. That’s one reason I love being here at the Hoop Summit,” Towns said.
Towns knows the exhibition is a good way to make a positive impression.
“With NBA scouts here, it’s always good to start your future early and show what you can do daily,” Towns said.
Andrew Harrison believes playing at Kentucky will give him a chance to showcase his point guard skills.
Andrew and his twin brother Aaron will join Julius Randle, Dakari Johnson, Marcus Lee and James Young in what’s considered Kentucky’s best recruiting class ever.
“I don’t care about scoring. I just want to lead my team. I want to win every game,” Harrison said. “I will get a chance to just throw it up the rim sometimes and see who can go get it. I just have to put them in the right positions to score and I am looking forward to that. In high school, they could play four guys on you. Now you can’t leave anybody or they will kill you because we have so many good players.”
Harrison has played with his future teammates in a few All-Star games over the offseason and is expecting a quick assimilation.
“All the guys are cool. Getting to know them has definitely made me even more comfortable about next year,” Harrison said. “It was like a two-week head start on next season. We have not developed great chemistry yet, but we all like each other a lot and everything. We are cool.”