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Calipari says Shaedon Sharpe is still way behind but has a promising skillset

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Once Sharpe gets adjusted to the college game, watch out.

Shaedon Sharpe UK Athletics

Now that Shaedon Sharpe is on campus, the freshman guard is slowly getting acclimated to the college game.

With the second semester having started, Sharpe is now eligible to play in games, but it doesn’t sound like the former 2022 No. 1 overall recruit is anywhere close to playing based on John Calipari’s comments at his Friday press conference.

The good news is Sharpe is practicing with the team and doesn’t appear to have any restrictions as he learns how to play the college game. Calipari even admitted Sharpe’s skillset already looks very promising.

The bad news is Calipari says Sharpe is still way behind in areas like game speed, the aggressiveness of the college game, not taking plays off, and communication with his teammates. These are all areas that freshmen consistently struggle with when they first begin practicing at the college level.

One very interesting topic brought up today was Sharpe’s status as a scholarship player as it pertains to COVID-19. The current guidelines are that an SEC men’s or women’s basketball team will be required to play if it has at least seven scholarship players and one countable coaching staff member available to participate.

If Kentucky were to have several players miss a game due to COVID-19, Calipari said it’s unclear if Sharpe would be considered one of the seven scholarship players required to keep the game from getting postponed.

Calipari even joked that Kentucky fans should arrive early at home games so they can see Sharpe working out on the court.

“We’ll make sure Shaedon is on the court working out, and you can say, ‘I saw Shaedon.’ It’ll be like that book ‘Where’s Waldo?’ It’ll be ‘Where’s Shaedon? He’s on the court, I saw him warm up.’”

I’m still guessing that if Sharpe does play this season, it will be sometime in mid-to-late February. If it gets to March and he’s yet to play, that’s when I’d guess the cutoff is since Calipari won’t want to risk hurting team chemistry once the postseason arrives.

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