With summer basketball camps rolling on, we have our first Kentucky Wildcats practice report...sort of.
The Athletic’s Kyle Tucker was able to get some tidbits on an open practice UK had in front of campers, and while it’s obviously very early, it sounded very positive.
You can see the info below.
John Calipari let youth campers and their parents watch Kentucky’s first practice for the Bahamas today. I got a little intel from one of the lucky observers: pic.twitter.com/b91NDfURNc— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) June 15, 2022
And wouldn’t you know it, UK just posted our first extended practice highlights of the 2022-23 Wildcats.
Back at it. First practice ☑️ pic.twitter.com/Rt4zRbp9xf— Kentucky Men’s Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) June 15, 2022
My biggest takeaway is Lance Ware and Daimion Collins both knocking down jumpers. We rarely saw either guy shoot jumpers in the regular season, though Collins showed some potential as a 3-point shooter in the preseason (he went 0/3 from deep in 27 regular-season games). He clearly has a world of potential, but he must expand his offense if he’s going to play alongside Oscar Tshiebwe, who’s obviously getting most of the minutes at the 5.
Ware made big leaps as a sophomore as a post defender, but his offense was still limited outside of lobs and shots right at the rim. Being able to knock down mid-range jumpers would go a long in helping space the floor and earning him more minutes, even when he’s a second big man next to Collins or Tshiebwe. It certainly appears Ware’s big showing in Brazil was no fluke.
I’m very happy to see CJ Fredrick getting to practice at full speed, even if he is being limited in drills. Admittedly, I’m skeptical on how much, if at all Fredrick should play in the Bahamas given his injury history (read more on that here thanks to Kyle Tucker), but seeing him on the court is a wonderful sight. I still think, at most, he should get limited minutes in the Bahamas, which would allow Chris Livingston to get extended minutes at the 2.
Speaking of, hearing and seeing Livingston shoot well is also a great development. He may look like an oversized wing/undersized 4, but he absolutely believes he’s a 2 guard. Being a consistent threat from deep is a must if he’s going to play there a lot in college and eventually the NBA. And given Fredrick’s injury history, Livingston effectively playing the 2 would add some much-needed insurance at that spot.
So, what are your early takeaways from the practice report and/or highlights? Let us know in the comments section!