Coach Cal heaped praise on the upcoming season’s Wildcats during a conference with the Louisville Courier Journal, calling this year’s squad “Gym Rats”.
Uncharacteristically, he said that he recently gave the team two days off.
“Now, a normal team when you give them two days off it takes you two days to get them back to where they were before you gave them two days off,” he said, “this team never leaves the gym.”
The players’ work ethic may be a function of their collective tenure with the program. There will be three returning sophomores for this year’s Wildcat team, along with one junior, one senior, and one graduate student: Stanford transfer Reid Travis.
“Normally, I’d give them off Monday and Thursday.” Calipari continued, “Last week I gave them two days off–we had our best practice when I got back and I was stunned. But we got gym rats. Guys that wanna be in the gym all the time.”
Travis Will Be a Good Fit
He had praise for Travis as well, who he says fits the mission of the prolific UK program. When he asked Travis about his averages during his last year in the PAC-12–close to 20 points and 10 rebounds per game with a First-Team All-Conference nod–Coach Cal followed up by asking him if he would be alright with only averaging 13 or 14 points per game at Kentucky.
He said yes.
“Those are the guys that come with us: ‘I wanna get better, I wanna transform my game, I wanna change…That’s why I’m coming to Kentucky.'”
Kentucky will face off against Duke for their season opener on November 6th. This will mark the first time the team has begun a season against a ranked opponent since 1996 when they competed against the No. 20 Clemson.