You’d likely assume Coach Cal is sending his prized freshman forward into the paint in preseason practices where Randle can immediately capitalize on his size, strength and athleticism. You’d be wrong.
When Nerlens Noel went down with his season-ending injury, Cauley-Stein not only became an important piece, he became the focal point inside, the big man on campus. Now, a season later, Cauley-Stein admits he not only struggled with being in the spotlight, he wasn’t ready for the big time and everything that came with it.
Jon Hood and Jarrod Polson have come to realize that Calipari is constantly searching for new ways to motivate and teach, even though he’s more than two decades into his head-coaching career. That’s why neither was surprised as Coach Cal has trotted out a new catchphrase early in preseason practices: Fail fast.
By now, everyone has heard the numbers. Four years. Seventeen NBA Draft picks. Eight lottery choices. Two No. 1 overall picks. Two Final Fours. A national championship. But until the players who made those numbers come together, it’s difficult to fully understand the parade of basketball talent that has come through Lexington during the John Calipari era.
After a long two days of waiting, the Kentucky Wildcats received the news they were hoping to avoid on Sunday evening.
In a halftime ceremony at UK’s game vs. Mississippi State on Wednesday, members of the team will be given school rings to commemorate the 1996 national championship. Of the 15 players on the team’s roster, 11 – Anderson, Sheppard, Delk, Walker, McCarty, Ron Mercer, Anthony Epps, Wayne Turner, Jared Prickett, Oliver Simmons and Jason Lathrem – plan to be in attendance. Pope, Mohammed, Allen Edwards and Cameron Mills will receive their rings individually.
Noel has a torn ACL and will undergo reconstructive surgery soon, the same surgery Hood had after he sustained the same injury as Noel in similar fashion. The injury – which happened in a summer pickup game – and the rehabilitation that followed cost Hood the entire 2011-12 season, which means the two teammates are members a fraternity into which no athlete wants to be initiated.
eRUPPtion Zone tickets will be available to the public for the Belmont and Mississippi State games, which occur over the university’s holiday break. Tickets will go on sale 90 minutes prior to tip-off at the Rupp Arena Box Office and are available on a first come/first serve basis.