While they were in town for Coach John Calipari’s UK Pro Camp this week, Bam Adebayo and Malik Monk were able to play some pickup basketball with the new Kentucky players. While it is not unexpected, they seemed to be impressed.
When asked who fans should watch for this season, Monk had trouble picking out just one player.
“PJ (Washington), Quade (Green), Hami (Diallo) for sure, Jarred (Vanderbilt), everybody,” Monk said.
However, there was one player who caught him off guard. “(Shai Gilgeous-Alexander) surprised me because I never seen him before.”
Bam, on the other hand, agreed with De’Aaron Fox who earlier identified a guy that was especially impressive.
“You know Quade stood out, I feel like he’s going to be great for them,” Adebayo said.
Of course, Bam was also asked about the bigs and the potential he sees for Kentucky’s future in the paint. Familiar with returning post players Sacha-Killeya Jones, Wenyen Gabriel, and Tai Wynyard, this was Bam’s first time playing against freshman Nick Richards.
“I feel like they did well, they got a long ways just like I did when I was here,” Adebayo said. “This year’s going to be good for them, and we’ll see the outcome at the end.”
While nobody is calling this Coach Cal’s best class ever, it is certainly one of the biggest in terms of shear number of new players. With that many freshman on the roster, the level of uncertainty can be difficult to balance with the excitement that comes with this much potential.
The confident words of players that just went through the same process as these guys should ease the worries of fans a bit. They have seen how players develop at Kentucky over the course of a year, and their perspective is a very unique one.
We are just over 11 weeks away from finding out, as Big Blue Madness will be the first glimpse that many get of this young team. October 13th cannot get here fast enough.