By LARRY VAUGHT
ATLANTA — He can laugh with teammates off the court but put Kahlil Whitney on the basketball court and something changes.
“I do have a dog mentality in me,” Whitney said Tuesday after practice for tonight’s McDonald’s All-American Game at 7 on ESPN2. “I hate losing with a passion. That’s a big reason I picked Kentucky was to have a chance to win. I just feel like we’re going to come in, work extremely hard, and we’re going to try and win as many games as possible.”
Whitney is part of John Calipari’s 2019 recruiting class that includes fellow McDonald’s All-American Tyrese Maxey along with Kentucky Mr. Basketball Dontaie Allen and Indiana five-star Keion Brooks.
“Coach Cal pushes his players to the limit. That’s what I want, because when I get pushed to the limit, it brings the best out of me,” Whitney said. “I like to be held accountable. That type of stuff motivates me because I know it leads to winning.”
The 6-7 Whitney says his game improved dramatically the last two years because of the extra work he put in.
“I can create more for myself but I can also create for others,” he said. “I spent a lot of hours doing that and I know that is something coach Cal likes.”
He also knows Calipari likes defense. That suits Whitney.
“Cal said I could be a monster on defense. I love playing defense. Always have, always will,” he said.