As you all know, Kentucky recently added UK baseball pitcher Ben Jordan to the 2019-20 roster.
On Friday, we heard from Keion Brooks , Nick Richards, and Coach Cal about the impact that Jordan is having on the team.
Adding another big has allowed the Cats to have normal practices as Jordan is battling Nick Richards. This allows Brooks to play more at the three, while Nate Sestina and EJ Montgomery get more chances to battle each other.
“I’ll tell you who has really helped is Ben Jordan, because now Keion (Brooks Jr.) can get work at three and EJ (Montgomery) gets to go against Nate (Sestina), which helps them. And Ben gets to beat up on Nick (Richards),” said Calipari.
“It makes a big difference. He’s helping us,” said Brooks of Jordan. “He’s making us better. Being able to be physical with Nick (Richards) some and also letting EJ play the four and me play the three, which I am. It’s been great having him there. He’s been a good help.”
Richards, who is looking to finally break out in his junior year, likes having the added challenge Jordan brings in practice.
“For the bigs, it’s good because Ben is not really like, he’s been playing basketball since he was a kid, so he knows how to play. He’s pretty strong, he’s another decent sized guy to challenge us on box outs, rebounding, getting deep post position, he’s actually helping us in practice.”
Practice has been something we have heard Calipari talk a lot about this preseason, as he has noted that they have been a big man short. Jordan has solved those issues with his arrival.
“It was funny – he said to me yesterday – I had them come up in the office and after the practice I said, ‘How much did Ben help us today?’ The guys went crazy,” stated Calipari. “He said – I’m probably breaking his confidence, but it’s OK – he said, ‘I went home and we had people crying, and there were T-shirts for me. I’m like, what? ‘Coach, I was a really good pitcher.
“Like I’m an All-American in baseball and no one has said anything and I go back with this and said, ‘I’m just one of the guys on the team. And they’re doing jerseys for me.’ He laughed. My hope is he benefits by this whole experience.”
We won’t be seeing a lot of Jordan on the floor during the actual games this season, but the impact he is going to have in practice will boost this team’s success.