For the next two weeks, we'll look ahead at the players on the 2012-13 Kentucky men's basketball team with a player preview and a podcast with staffers Brett Dawson, Steve Jones, T.J. Walker and Aaron Smith. You can subscribe to the Cats Illustrated Podcast on iTunes.
Preview Podcast:Publisher Brett Dawson, Recruiting Editor Steve Jones and Staff Writers T.J. Walker and Aaron Smith break down their expectations of Willie Cauley-Stein.
Rewind: Cauley-Stein was a dual-sport star in high school, starting at wide receiver for the football team as well as landing scholarship offers for his play on the hardwood. He always knew he wanted to play basketball and committed to UK October 31, 2011. Cauley-Stein proved he could do a little bit of everything his senior season, averaging 12 points, 10 rebounds, five blocks and four assists.
Fast Forward: Expectations for Cauley-Stein have soared thanks to head coach John Calipari. Calipari praised Cauley-Stein after watching summer practices and now UK fans, and Calipari, will be expecting valuable minutes this upcoming season. The frontcourt is expected to be thin with Cauley-Stein and Nerlens Noel being the team's only true post players. Cauley-Stein could see serious minutes if Wiltjer or Noel get in foul trouble. In the worst-case scenario for UK, Noel fails to qualify, expectations, pressure and minutes would skyrocket for Cauley-Stein.
John Calipari says: "I'm blown away by him. I knew he was good. I watched him. But he's gained (weight). For his official visit, he was 215. He's over 230 pounds now. And he's loving it. He's soaking it in. He's one of those guys that just blossoms and blossoms."