In recent interviews, head coach John Calipari has been discussing the new crop of Wildcats that have arrived on campus. Through sixteen summer practices, he seems to rave and sing the praises of 6’10” center Willie Cauley-Stein. Not much has been mentioned of the big kid from Olathe, Kansas. Calipari constantly says he is underrated and has improved since arriving on campus. Seemingly lost in the shuffle of the buzz around guys like Nerlens Noel and Alex Poythress, just how good is this guy? Not even John Calipari knows yet. In a recent WKYT interview, Calipari stated that Cauley-Stein is a great kid, and has gained twenty five pounds over the summer. Cal also noted he was considering starting Cauley-Stein next to Nerlens Noel.
Back in 1983-84, the UK men’s basketball team featured two guys around seven feet tall. Sam Bowie and Melvin Turpin would lead the charge and carry that teams hopes and dreams of an NCAA title all year long. Head Coach Joe B. Hall nicknamed the two seven-footers as “The Twin Towers”. The team was also featured by future NBA Slam Dunk Champion Kenny “Sky” Walker. The season was full of promise and expectations as the Wildcats marched into the Final Four. Unfortunately, the ‘Cats ran into a young stud named Patrick Ewing and the Georgetown Hoyas. After their playing days were finished at Kentucky, Bowie was selected #2 in the NBA Draft by the Portland Trailblazers. Most notably, Bowie was picked ahead of a standout from North Carolina named Michael Jordan. In the same draft, Turpin was also picked at #6 to the Washington Bullets.
With the dynamic duo of Bowie and Turpin, could we see another pair of seven-footers lead UK deep into the tournament? One of the hardest things to do is to follow up a successful season, especially at Kentucky. The group of freshman coming in have inherited the defense of college basketball’s throne. There is a ton of excitement and wonder around the fan base about how this team will come together. With Noel and Cauley-Stein, there will be plenty of size upfront for Kentucky to work with. Time will only tell as these guys are molded into the best tradition in college basketball. Go Big Blue!
Big Blue Madness: 76 days
Filed Under: Basketball
About the Author: Writer for StraitCats.com, lifelong UK fan, college sports enthusiast. Twitter: BrianLewis_SP