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John Calipari raves about Kevin Knox, excited to coach Hamidou Diallo and PJ Washington

Coach Cal opened up about his star freshmen and what to expect from UK next season.

NBA: Draft Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

John Calipari continues to express his excitement over Kevin Knox.

During Monday’s SEC coaches teleconference, Cal raved about Knox’s brief stint at the Team USA U19 training camp, where the five-star freshman was easily one of the best players.

“Kevin was terrific. He was the best player, or one of the best,” said Cal. “There were three or four guys who stood out and he was one of them. There were times I just shook my head and said, ‘Wow.’

But Cal is also high on the other UK freshmen who will actually travel with the U19 team to Egypt, PJ Washington and Hamidou Diallo.

“PJ is playing really well. Hami, I’m really excited. I wish Kevin would have made the trip, but you look at it and say, it’s not worth it. Go back, get yourself healthy.

“But what’s going to happen is, with Hami and PJ I get a chance to be with them for three weeks and they get a chance to be with me. I get a chance to watch them closely, to learn more about them so I can do a better job of coaching them.

“And then they know what my expectations are and it’ll be a little bit easier road. But again, the three or four days I spent with Kevin were great. He’s going to be terrific. Boy, he is really good.”

As for Calipari’s upcoming team, it’s going to be one of the youngest and least experienced squads Cal has coached in Lexington.

“We’re going to be really young. Really, really the most inexperienced team that I’ve coached,” said Cal. “So, that’s going to be interesting to deal with. I love the length. I love the group of guys. I love that they all want to win. When you talk to them, that’s what they talk about. It’s always fun when you get a group like that. That is fun. I’m looking forward to it.

“We’ll see. I still don’t know how they’re going to play. I’d imagine we’ll be fast and disruptive, but I don’t – how we’ll do that, I have no idea.”

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