Cal: Next step for WCS is handling physical play

Kentucky Coach John Calipari identified the next step in the ever-improving Willie Cauley-Stein’s development as a basketball player.

Noting UK’s loss to Baylor last Friday, Calipari said, “The game was very physical. He didn’t perform. So that’s his last challenge. That’s his last test.”

WCS had eight points and  a season-low three rebounds against Baylor.

“When it gets physical, will he get lower and play that kind of game?” Calipari asked. “Because when he gets that, it’s on.

“Right now, he does not have that. If the game gets real physical, he gets tired. He stands up and gets knocked around. That leverage of getting low, he doesn’t know it yet.”

WCS must also adjust to physical play when he’s on offense, Calipari said. “He may fade on that now versus the way he’s playing right now, which is attacking the basket,” the UK coach said.

WCS said he had a plan in mind for how to handle physical play, which figures to be the challenge when UK plays at North Carolina on Saturday.

“Push before they do,” he said. “That’s my mindset. . . . I’m going to pick up at least two fouls pushing people. I don’t foul much. I might as well use them.”

WCS said he expected North Carolina to try to be physical with Kentucky.

“Going to do what everybody else does,” he said. “They’re going to come out and try to punk us. We’re probably not goign to get no calls because we never do.”