In the week leading to the trip to the Bahamas, Kentucky Coach John Calipari invited the Kentucky media corps to attend this week’s practices. UK asked reporters not to cite specifics from the workouts. But opinions were fine.
Following first impressions from Monday’s practice and second impressions from Tuesday’s practice and third impressions from Wednesday’s practice, here are fourth impressions from Thursday’s practice:
— Calipari will draw a line in sand. Not subject to negotiation are such basics as diving for loose balls, sprinting the court (especially “bigs,” who can out-hustle opponents) and getting defensive rebounds
— Alex Poythress made only three of six free throws in a (very) controlled scrimmage. But getting to the foul line so many times showed a high level of activity and his teammates’ willingness to look for him along the baseline.
— Derek Willis doesn’t always exude confidence when he goes up for a shot.
— Lot of talk Wednesday about how much Andrew and Aaron Harrison have changed. But there are constants. Aaron can still shoot from the perimeter. With the scrimmage coming down to a final possession, Andrew drove to contact to get to the foul line. He made one of two free throws with 2.3 seconds left to tie the score at 27-27. Like Ara Parseghian in 1966 Notre Dame-Michigan State game (google it, kids), Calipari settled for a tie and ended scrimmage.
— UK coaches had to like the several times offensive rebounding created second, third, fourth and fifth opportunities.
— Prettiest play of the day? Maybe Marcus Lee’s touch pass from post to post that got Dakari Johnson a dunk.
— UK’s “tower outage” continued. “Bigs” Willie Cauley-Stein and Trey Lyles watched another workout, this time leaning against a wall behind a baseline.
— A crew from Fox Sports 1 watched the practice and shot video. Reporter Reid Forgrave said we should look for a Kentucky basketball story on Fox’s various channels, probably sometime after the Bahamas trip and before colllege football begins.