Once again, John Calipari has to almost entirely reboot his roster with blue-chip freshmen. One of his top new players is already impressing.
Kentucky surprised the college basketball world in May, by landing five-star small forward Kevin Knox, who many projected to head to Duke.
Knox's talent was never in question, but John Calipari wasn't thrilled with his reluctance to take the ball to the hoop in practice. On Wednesday, however, he says Knox made a "breakthrough."
From SEC Country:
“We had a really good practice [Wednesday],” Calipari said, “and Kevin Knox was unbelievable. He made a little bit of a breakthrough. I had hope. I took my foot off the panic button [Wednesday] after practice. I still got both hands on it, but my foot is no longer on it.”
“It was [Knox] rebounding the ball, playing tougher. It was driving into the lane and taking hits. Normally he wouldn’t drive in and he would take a shot,” Calipari said. “I’m forcing him to drive. He’d rather shoot a jumper. ‘You’re not, you’re driving the ball.’ [Wednesday] he just got it. That’s what happens. These kids, you’re asking them to do stuff they’ve never had to do. He got it.”
Last year, the combination of point guard De'Aaron Fox and shooting guard Malik Monk gave Calipari big-time options when he needed someone to step up for a big bucket. It shouldn't come as a major surprise, but he may have that luxury again with Knox and point guard Hamidou Diallo.