Derek Willis and Marcus Lee draw lofty comparisons from Calipari

Derek Willis - photo by Chet White | UKAthletics.com
Derek Willis - photo by Chet White | UKAthletics.com
Derek Willis – photo by Chet White | UKAthletics.com

At the annual Tip-Off Luncheon on Monday in Louisville, John Calipari was asked “This year is a little different because you’ve had some practices. Usually when you come to this you haven’t practiced yet. Marcus Lee, you called a pogo stick the other day. Who has impressed you the most?”  His response?

“Here are the two surprises. You want to know the two surprise players? First of all, Jarrod (Polson) and Jon Hood are so much better, I’m not afraid to put them in games. When I put them in games over the last couple of years I was closing my eyes. And let me tell you this, they’re competing. Dominique (Hawkins) is competing. He’s not afraid. He’s not quite to where those other guards are, but he’s not afraid. Two surprises: Marcus Lee is way better than I thought, and Derrick Willis is way better than I thought. Somebody came in, some of you old timers, which is three-quarters of this room, said he’s Bobby Jones. You remember Bobby Jones?  Raise your hand if you have any idea who I’m talking about. So the room isn’t as old as a I thought. (Laughter). Playing, competing, not afraid. There is space on the court for him because of his strength. He can really score it. And long arms. Like, Julius has trouble getting shots off. If Julius doesn’t get into his body, Julius is struggling getting shots off. So he’s been doing good. Marcus Lee is just all over the place. He’s an energy guy. He reminds me of a Dennis Rodman. He’s like Dennis Rodman. Then you start saying, where do I play him because I’ve got to play him because because he can guard the point guard, a five, and he runs and blocks every shot. He’s got unbelievable energy. But again, there are guys in front of him that pretty good.”

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