“Willie Cauley was unbelievable,” Calipari said. “And you say, ‘What did he do?’ He just added energy.”
Missing 3 road games was hard for Cauley-Stein, who for the first time talked about his injury. He explained that the procedure involved the removal of a 2 cm. chip of his knee cap which was knocked loose back during his high school football days.
He had an and-one early in UK’s game-breaking 19-2 run, but that what wasn’t what had Coach Cal raving in his postgame press conference. He finished with 13 points, six rebounds and two blocks in just 22 minutes of UK’s 77-55 win over South Carolina, but it was his simple presence that made all the difference.
“Willie brings a different type of energy than any other player that we have,” said Julius Mays, who made four 3s and scored a team-high 15 points. “He changes the game both offensively and defensively.”
He admits having so much fun to run again. His presence in the game gave a lot of energy to the team, the “bug was contagious”.
“Piece by piece it’s spreading off to other people,” Cauley-Stein said. “Kyle (Wiltjer) is starting to play really well. He’s starting to go really hard in practice. I’m picking up from what Kyle is doing, and eventually everybody is going to be playing like that. It’s just a matter of time when people start figuring out that’s how we need to play to take this to a whole ‘nother level.”
View Guy Ramsey’s article on the UK Athletics blog.
Welcome back Willie!