After getting in gym with players, John Calipari has “little extra bounce” in his step

Davion Mintz (Creighton Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky coach John Calipari is making no attempt to hide his enthusiasm about the upcoming college basketball season — if there is one.

Calipari was finally allowed in the gym this week with his players. It’s the first time he’s been with his 2020-21 team and as giddy as he’s been talking about them before, he was even happier on Twitter this week.

”Little extra bounce in my step the last two days because I’ve had a chance to work with our guys. Hasn’t been much — just individuals — but getting to see their faces and talk a little basketball has me smiling,” Calipari posted on Twitter Tuesday.

“We’ve got a determined, dedicated and hard-working group. We’ve got a long ways to go obviously but I like this group. Talent and some veterans. Keion Brooks is way better and Davion Mintz and Olivier Sarr have been great.”

Brooks, a sophomore, is the only returning player who has scored in a UK game. Mintz and Sarr are both transfers — and Sarr is still waiting to see if the NCAA will grant him a waiver so he can play next season.
Calipari hopes individual workouts will become team workouts next week.

Kentucky has the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class led by Terrence Clarke and BJ Boston. On a Zoom media call last week Calipari said he had a “really good team.”

He repeated that and more earlier this week with Andy Katz on the March Madness 365 podcast.

“I have a great group of players who are great kids who are wired and driven that are here to sacrifice and share. None of them came here saying, ‘You’re going to be the main man, you’re going to [take] all the shots. We’re playing through you. Let me show you every play we’re going to run for you,’” Calipari said.

“That’s not what is is. This group, aside from being givers, sharers, servant leaders at a young age, are really talented. Like really talented. So I’m excited about it. We got one guy returning so I’m saying it because I’ve been excited about what this group can become.”

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