This year’s Kentucky team took to the practice floor for the first time on Friday in an official practice with Head Coach John Calipari.
CoachCal.com’s Metz Camfield was on hand and broke down some of his key observations from their two-hour session. That included Kevin Knox being used as a guard, despite being projected as a wing by every recruiting service.
It was interesting to see in the early warmup drills that Knox was, in fact, working out with the guards. Fellow freshmen PJ Washington and Jarred Vanderbilt worked out with the forwards during this time.
This has long been hinted at, but maybe we will actually see some lineups where Knox plays the two-guard position.
Can you imagine the length of a lineup of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Knox, Vanderbilt, Washington, and Richards? That’s a lineup of freaky length/athleticism that teams would have a hard time finding clean looks offensively.
Gabriel was much more assertive and aggressive going to the rack. One of the older players on the team as a sophomore – that’s really weird to type – Gabriel looked like he was playing with more of an ownership.
Play of the Day: Gabriel caught a beautiful lob from Brad Calipari in a transition drill and threw down an absolutely vicious dunk. The play made Adebayo leap out of his seat screaming in approval.
Kentucky will need to see more of this to have the type of season they want to have. Gabriel has many of the tools to be a really good player—length, athleticism, a good looking jumper—but he has to be assertive and aggressive to make teams focus on him defensively.
Kentucky needs its sophomore duo of Gabriel and Sacha Kileya-Jones to have big seasons if this team wants to be a contender in March, and there is no way around it.
Quade Green is a competitor. No doubt about it. On missed shots he would clap his hands in frustration or work on his shooting stroke afterward. He didn’t want it to happen again. He sprinted hard in every drill he did, leaving his shirt a darker shade of gray shortly after practice began. Offensively, he hit a number of jumpers, floaters and difficult layups.
I have a feeling Quade will be a fan favorite on this team due to his personality and competitive nature. He will quickly be a leader on this team. I hope that he can be a three-point threat on a team that appears may struggle from behind the arc at times.
There are several other notes from Camfield about the practice that you can read here.