CoachCal.com Practice Report: Athleticism on Display in First Practice

Kentucky head coach John Calipari has alluded to it over the past couple weeks, and on Saturday he finally got his wish: It was time to coach his team.

Kentucky is allowed two hours of team skill instruction per week at this time of year, and Coach Cal got his first look at his guys Saturday afternoon at the Joe Craft Center. As we have done on this website in years past to try to appease the Big Blue Nation’s never-ending appetite for all things Kentucky basketball, here is your first practice report of the fall.

Please note that all observation and opinions are only that of Metz Camfield.

  • As always, Coach Cal began his practice with his normal drills and exercises, including the “two-minute layup drill.” As previous CoachCal.com editor Eric Lindsey pointed out in practice reports of seasons past, Calipari uses the same structure for each practice because everything the Cats do throughout the year builds off these drills. The difference this time was Calipari had to really explain some of the opening drills to his team with so many newcomers on board.
  • It was really nice to see Alex Poythress out on the court. Even if he wasn’t going full speed sprinting up and down the floor – he was doing what I’d call a slow run – just to see him on the court, taking jump shots and talking with the guys was great. Poythress’ injury was a major blow to the Wildcats last year. They were able to continue with their winning ways thanks to unprecedented depth, but they sure could have used him. Having Poythress healthy and ready to go this season will be crucial for this team, which has to replace seven players now in the NBA. As Coach Cal has said many times before, Poythress does things that no other player on Kentucky’s roster can do, nor many other players around the country. He did not participate in the five-on-five drills or the scrimmage.
  • First thing Coach Cal said when he walked out on the floor was, “Man, it’s good to see Alex out here!”
  • Coach Cal really stressed on the opening drills to only use four dribbles to get down the length of the court. He told Skal Labissiere, specifically, don’t take five dribbles when you can do four. He then showed Marcus Lee, who only needed three dribbles before hammering down a dunk.

To read the full practice report, please head to CoachCal.com.