TJ Beisner, editor of CoachCal.com and host of “The Behind Kentucky Basketball” podcast began Friday’s podcast by announcing a new addition.
Kentucky men’s basketball assistant coach Joel Justus is joining Beisner as a co-host on the podcast, enriching the content by giving listeners a first-hand source as far as how the team is practicing and recruiting is escalating.
Beisner led off immediately tending to basketball practice, with Justus updating listeners by saying his guys are working hard and more importantly, working together to build chemistry.
“Those guys came here knowing that this is a fun group,” Justus said. “I think we’re going to continue to grow closer as we spend more time together and hopefully achieve some special things throughout the year.”
Justus went on to say he thinks the Wildcats have a special group who want to improve daily and as a coach, that’s all he can really ask for.
When Beisner asked about how special the Cats could be defensively, Justus didn’t hold back.
“We have to be,” he said. “I think anytime you’re a great team in March, or hopefully April, you are an elite team defensively because those games slow down a little bit in the tournament and ultimately then in the Final Four and you’ve gotta be able to put together some stops,” he said.
Justus elaborated on having a “backbone” to get a couple of stops in achieving a comeback or stretching out a lead.
“To use Cal’s words, I think we can be a beast of a defensive team,” Justus said.
Justus also said it’s going to take some time to grow and to establish communication.
Beisner then moved to Reid Travis’s progression in Kentucky’s system, a recent guest of the podcast.
“(Travis) isn’t afraid to speak and is correct when he does,” Justus said. Travis is the first veteran Calipari has had with his level of talent, making Travis the dream player to mentor the younger, talented Wildcats.
With it being Calipari’s 10th season at Kentucky, Beisner asked if the recruiting message has changed at all or if it’s still “come to Kentucky and succeed and you’re most likely in the NBA.”
“I think the biggest and most important thing for us is, first off, creating a relationship and then building on it,” Justus said. “That’s the most important thing that we do and what (Calipari) is so fantastic at,” he said.
Justus added that the backbone of Kentucky’s success is Calipari’s relationship with all of his players.
With Big Blue Madness around the corner, Beisner concluded to focus on EJ Montgomery’s conversation with Anthony Davis. Montgomery’s physical attributes and body style have drawn Davis-like comparisons.
Beisner played the audio from their conversation over the podcast, but you can watch the entire video here.