The Kentucky Wildcats have typically kept off the police blotter under John Calipari's watch.
But like any program, there are going to be an occasional infraction come up. That happened Saturday night when senior forward Derek Willis was arrested for public intoxication in Northern Kentucky.
Here is the arrest record, according to the Boone County Sheriff website:
As is the case with any upperclassmen, Willis was going to be a leader for this team as one of the few guys with tenure and significant playing time. That's a lot harder to do when you're in trouble with the law, even if it's something as minor as public intoxication.
Willis, now entering his final season in Lexington, enjoyed a breakout junior campaign last year. The Mt. Washington native and former Bullitt East star averaged 7.7 points and 4.0 boards in 32 games last season, including 11 starts. Willis' biggest impact was from deep as he knocked down 53 of 120 three-pointers, good for a team-high 44.2%.
He's also one of the few returning starters from last year's squad, so having him back is going to be a big boost if he stays healthy and out of trouble. Willis failed to do the latter, and now he's in how water with Calipari, who simply doesn't tolerate this from any player.
The good news is this is happening in June and not later in the year during training camp or the preseason. Now Willis has time to get back in the good graces of Cal and serve whatever punishment comes of this. He still may serve some sort of team-imposed suspension and extra conditioning, but I doubt anything more comes of this unless Willis has another infraction.
We'll post more details as they become available.