UK hosts media day, Cal talking physical play

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) Tuesday was media day for the UK basketball Wildcats and just about every topic imaginable was discussed. You have heard the old saying, "Defense wins championships".

It is quite possible the 2019-2020 Wildcats will be excellent on that side of the court. The length of this team is rather ridiculous. While this team is long, you also notice there isn't a great deal of size.

Nick Richards is the biggest of the bunch and John Calipari did toss out that as one area of emphasis.

"Are we going to be physical enough?," asked Coach Cal. "Because our defense on the ball should be unbelievable. I think we're long enough that other positions, if you try to beat us to the rim, we can block shots. That's the sign of a really good defensive team. Now, if you get roughed up, can you still play, can you still perform? Do we have the physical, mental toughness? And the main thing for me will be how do we rebound and how tough are we physically?

Every year with Calipari's new crop of Cats, the Hall of Fame coach will talk about his youngsters not talking or communicating on the court. This is where a guy like Nate Sestina comes in handy. Cal says Sestina is the only guy who is constantly communicating and he needs to teach the rookies.

"They're coming in being 5-star recruits and they've been the top guys for their whole life," says the grad-transfer from Bucknell. When they come in they didn't have to play team basketball like this and it's really really hard to do that. You hopefully play 40 games and being able to talk and communicate like that is something you really have to pick up on. I think by midsummer guys really started to realize how important it is.

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