Willie Cauley-Stein isn't the most hyped recruit in the latest John Calipari recruiting class. His announcement came late on a Sunday night in October, not on national television. He's considered to be a project player, not an immediate starter.
That was the general consensus, anyway, until Calipari gushed of Cauley-Stein's skill earlier this month (via ESPN): "He's so skilled, real skilled. I was stunned how good he was," Calipari said.
At first glance, one might want to pump the brakes on the idea of sitting sharpshooter Kyle Wiltjer for an inexperienced freshman. However, the Twin Towers lineup consideration is legitimate.
Per Kentucky Sports Radio, Calipari told other SEC coaches that he is "blown away" by WCS. He's added 15 pounds, and "Calipari expects him to be a guy who 'blossoms and blossoms.'"
So, Calipari is a bit excited for the lowest-ranked player in his 2012 recruiting class. Or is this an attempt to show Wiltjer that his position in the starting lineup is no guarantee?
With the exclusion of Wiltjer in the starting lineup, efficient three-point shooting would be hard to come by. However, WCS would allow for more fast-break opportunities. He's known to move very well for a big, whereas no pundit is rushing to call Wiltjer "nimble."
So which would you prefer?
Would you prefer a "stretch 4" like Wiltjer, or an "athletic 4" that could run the court? Both lineups have their perks, although Wiltjer's talent as a marksman from long range is a critical need for the 2012-13 team.
One 247Sports writer even claimed that WCS may be the "best of the group." He's gone from least hyped to most hyped in a matter of a handful of workouts. Where will we see Cauley-Stein when the season begins? Starting? Splitting time with Wiltjer?
Either way, it is safe to say that WCS is more than a "project player" like we previously thought. He'll continue to improve, sure, but it sounds like Calipari will be using him more than expected.
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