UK had a practice today that was open to the media. I'm sure you will be hearing a lot about it from the guys who were there, but from what I have read so far, let me just tell you who I think did well and who did not:
First, Gillispie seems to have a very high-energy practice routine from the reports I have read, with very little time for rest. I don't think that surprises anyone but from reading the reports, the practices are extremely well-organized and precise, moving from one drill to the next with great speed and intensity.
So now to the players. Players doing particularly well at practice today were Porter, Patterson, Meeks, Liggins, Miller, and Stevenson.
Players who were said to have had the most criticism at practice today were Galloway and A.J. Stewart.
Everyone else is somewhere in between.
I want to point out, probably unnecessarily, that a second-hand report from an early practice means absolutely nothing, and it would truly be worthy of Miss Cleo if I tried to read anything season-wise into what was said to have happened today. But part of what we do here is speculate about all things Wildcat, so I think I can be forgiven for giving some impressions with the caveat that they are probably wrong. I won't talk about all the players, just a few that seem relevant right now.
My impression is that Carter is making headway. That is entirely unexpected, as I have gone from a Carter hopeful to a skeptic. This does little to change that, as he clearly didn't stand out, but that in itself is a positive since some of those who did stood out in a very negative way.
My impression is that DeAndre Liggins is everything he is supposed to be, and more. He will not be starting early in the season, I think, but he will be earning plenty of minutes. His intensity seems to be lower than it should be, but that is likely the transition to college basketball.
Patrick Patterson is still not back to 100% basketball-wise, nor from a conditioning standpoint. Meeks is much further along, which is no surprise, since his surgery had a much shorter recovery time.
A year in the system has done a lot of good for some players, and not as much as we would hope for others, especially A.J. Stewart. He still seems to be struggling to get in the right places, and that is somewhat discouraging. For Galloway, I am less concerned -- he is transitioning from a program that played a wildly different style than Gillispie, and he is just going through a transition. He'll get it soon enough, I expect.
Josh Harrellson may take a while to become effective. It is clear that this level of basketball is uncomfortable for him right now, but he should get better. He certainly seems to have the will and desire to compete, and that is always good.
So there we go -- my impressions based on second-hand reports of a practice. If you are a gambling man, I recommend you bet against me being right about any of this, since there is a bunch of between-the-lines reading going on, and I didn't see one second of the actual practice itself. Be that as it may, the season is closing in, and next week, it will be here.