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Karl-Anthony Towns pays 2017-18 ‘Cats a visit

The No. 1 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft was in Lexington to run his summer skills camp

Minnesota Timberwolves v Indiana Pacers
Karl-Anthony Towns provided this year’s upcoming Wildcats with some insight.
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

LEXINGTON, Ky. — One of Kentucky’s top stars who played one of Kentucky’s most successful teams visited Lexington Sunday.

Karl-Anthony Towns ran a summer basketball skills camp at Memorial Coliseum, and while in the heart of Big Blue Nation, he took some time to chat with head coach John Calipari’s 2017-18 crew, according to the coach’s tweet.

(Look closely, and you’ll see a different Calipari in the boss’s chair.)

Had Towns stayed all four years with Kentucky, he would be the senior leader to these young players this upcoming season. The 7-foot center was a member of Kentucky’s team that went 38-1 two years ago and beat UCLA by 41 points in the regular season. The team’s near-perfect run was halted in the Final Four with a 71-64 loss to Wisconsin, a Badger squad led by Frank Kaminsky who now plays with Malik Monk and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist on the Charlotte Hornets. (It’s a small world when so many former ‘Cats are in the NBA.)

Towns’ Sunday camp followed former Wildcat Julius Randle’s camp Saturday. Randle helped propel Kentucky to an unexpected finals run as a No. 8 seed in the 2014 NCAA Tournament.

At his camp’s press conference, Towns discussed the rarity of his one-loss team and how “Coach Cal” prepared him for the big leagues.

On his almost perfect season with the Wildcats:

“No one’s ever gonna do that again. That’s not gonna be something that’s done. It’s almost impossible. I talked to Devin Booker awhile ago about it. It’s not gonna be done again. It wasn’t just the way that we won, it was how we won. I mean, we’re beating teams by 50. UCLA should’ve just walked off the court against us at one point. It’s no disrespect to any university, but that year was our year. We went out there and we treated the game first, at all times with respect. We never disrespected the game of basketball, we always went out there with respect for our opponents and for the game. But we went out there with a chip on our shoulder, and that’s very rare for a team that’s on top of a mountain with absolutely no one around us. We made goals for ourselves that for a lot of people were not possible. We made it possible.”

And on his year with Calipari:

“Coach Cal and Kentucky gave me a platform to showcase myself to the world in a different way. He raised my game. He taught me a lot of things and fine-tuned a lot of my skills that may have been problems before coming in and made them my strengths. There are a lot of things when you come here to UK that you learn. There’s a reason why we’re the best of the best. We’re the best at what we do.”