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  1. #16
    Wireman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4chs View Post
    I love this quote from Willis after the game.

    Wednesday night, Calipari said that after the game he asked if Willis wanted to give any of the minutes he has taken from other players back?

    “Coach,” said Derek Willis, “I just want to win.”
    He was also asked what he feels has been holding him back in the past and he simply pointed at his head.

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  2. #17

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    I'm thrilled for Willis. Came in as the forgotten recruit in a stud class and didn't play well.

    Very nice ball skills and is turning into a weapon.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by CBDV View Post
    Kid has worked his butt off and EARNED everything he gets.
    100%

    I never would have thought he would be the guy that comes in and does all the dirty work.

    Rebounds, loose balls, etc. - those are effort and want to. He has come out and done those things. And, by the way, the kid can shoot too.

  4. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by coldweatherfan View Post
    100%

    I never would have thought he would be the guy that comes in and does all the dirty work.

    Rebounds, loose balls, etc. - those are effort and want to. He has come out and done those things. And, by the way, the kid can shoot too.
    He is a very nice player right now.

  5. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by swamprat View Post
    That was one of the best opening 5 minutes I've seen in 20 years.
    It was very good and I was very happy to see it. However last years team had two just as impressive starts and against MUCH better teams, when they beat UCLA and Kansas. Especially the UCLA game last year, just wow!

  6. #21

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    I love seeing all the things people are saying about Willis now, after just two weeks ago people were saying see that is why he doesn't play lol. However people didn't seem to realize it is hard for a person to look good, when you are only in for a minute or two before being yanked. It is almost impossible to get into a flow of a game then, and people only judge him off of that. Now that he was giving some playing time without fear of being pulled out at first mistake, he has shown he is a big part for this years team.

  7. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by futurecoach View Post
    I love seeing all the things people are saying about Willis now, after just two weeks ago people were saying see that is why he doesn't play lol. However people didn't seem to realize it is hard for a person to look good, when you are only in for a minute or two before being yanked. It is almost impossible to get into a flow of a game then, and people only judge him off of that. Now that he was giving some playing time without fear of being pulled out at first mistake, he has shown he is a big part for this years team.
    I disagree. The time increased when his productivity increased. It's really that simple. Willis didn't play this way or this well til the light went on inside him. Even he admitted in a post game interview. When asked what the difference was he pointed to his head to indicate it was his attitude.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hatz View Post
    I disagree. The time increased when his productivity increased. It's really that simple. Willis didn't play this way or this well til the light went on inside him. Even he admitted in a post game interview. When asked what the difference was he pointed to his head to indicate it was his attitude.
    Exactly.

    Last night, he had two back-to-back plays that really stood out to me. The first was when he got the rebound and drove coast to coast for the slam. Awesome play. Love the athleticism. But he follows it up with god awful defense on the perimeter. Allowed a big to drive right past him when he was guarding him at the top of the key. Completely opened his hips and allowed an easy basket.

    Willis will probably always have those plays on defense. He's just not going to be a great on the ball defender. However now, he's getting a lot of the hustle plays. Rebounding well and getting after lose balls. When his mentality changed and it clicked for him, he saw more time. Before, Cal couldn't keep him on the floor because he wasn't doing those other things. Those other things help put him in the positive instead of at best breaking even, as he was before.

  9. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hatz View Post
    I disagree. The time increased when his productivity increased. It's really that simple. Willis didn't play this way or this well til the light went on inside him. Even he admitted in a post game interview. When asked what the difference was he pointed to his head to indicate it was his attitude.
    Quote Originally Posted by MJAlltheWay24 View Post
    Exactly.

    Last night, he had two back-to-back plays that really stood out to me. The first was when he got the rebound and drove coast to coast for the slam. Awesome play. Love the athleticism. But he follows it up with god awful defense on the perimeter. Allowed a big to drive right past him when he was guarding him at the top of the key. Completely opened his hips and allowed an easy basket.

    Willis will probably always have those plays on defense. He's just not going to be a great on the ball defender. However now, he's getting a lot of the hustle plays. Rebounding well and getting after lose balls. When his mentality changed and it clicked for him, he saw more time. Before, Cal couldn't keep him on the floor because he wasn't doing those other things. Those other things help put him in the positive instead of at best breaking even, as he was before.
    Disagree! Very hard to show those things when you are on the floor for one or two minutes and then pulled out. He started getting more minutes when others were in foul trouble and Cal couldn't just pull him for his first mistake. Then with getting those extra minutes he showed that he was better than he had showed before.

    Also do you honestly believe a player would say well the reason why I wasn't getting minutes before was because Coach wouldnt give me much of a chance to show anything.

    It's not like I am saying this because he is a ky boy. Shoot I usually have argued with people who wanted ky boys playing. However I was saying even earlier in the year with those few minutes he got, he looked better for this team. However he didn't get a chance to show it until others started having foul trouble each game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by futurecoach View Post
    Disagree! Very hard to show those things when you are on the floor for one or two minutes and then pulled out. He started getting more minutes when others were in foul trouble and Cal couldn't just pull him for his first mistake. Then with getting those extra minutes he showed that he was better than he had showed before.

    Also do you honestly believe a player would say well the reason why I wasn't getting minutes before was because Coach wouldnt give me much of a chance to show anything.

    It's not like I am saying this because he is a ky boy. Shoot I usually have argued with people who wanted ky boys playing. However I was saying even earlier in the year with those few minutes he got, he looked better for this team. However he didn't get a chance to show it until others started having foul trouble each game.
    It's okay to disagree.

    Vs UL he played 16 minutes with three points

    LSU 17 minutes

    19 minutes vs Alabama I think with little production in each game.

    Those were some big minutes. No production.

  11. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hatz View Post
    It's okay to disagree.

    Vs UL he played 16 minutes with three points

    LSU 17 minutes

    19 minutes vs Alabama I think with little production in each game.

    Those were some big minutes. No production.
    And those were what his first meaningful minutes he had ever played in college basketball correct? Then what happened once he did start to consistently get minutes because of the other big guys being in foul trouble and Skal being horrible? He showed he could help this team. All those other games he would get in get beat on defense and be right out. Or miss his first shot and be right out. I mean he is still getting beat on defense some, but now with more consistent playing time and the more experience he gets by actually playing he is showing the areas he does do sell in to make up for his lack of defense.

    I mean let's not kid ourselves. If it wasn't for Skal not being good at all, and Lee and Poythress always having foul trouble. Willis would have still been seeing not much playing time just like Hawkins. That's why I don't buy the he didn't play much because of himself. He didn't ever have a chance much to prove himself. Sometimes the only way a guy could look better while playing in a game is getting a chance to actually play in a game consistently. I'm sure of coarse he has gotten better as a player to in his third year but imo the main reason he looks better in games is because he is getting consistent longer minutes in games to prove himself.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by futurecoach View Post
    Disagree! Very hard to show those things when you are on the floor for one or two minutes and then pulled out. He started getting more minutes when others were in foul trouble and Cal couldn't just pull him for his first mistake. Then with getting those extra minutes he showed that he was better than he had showed before.
    I believe that it's more likely that he started playing differently in practice with these types of plays, which help earned him more PT and those type of plays continued.

  13. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by MJAlltheWay24 View Post
    I believe that it's more likely that he started playing differently in practice with these types of plays, which help earned him more PT and those type of plays continued.
    Disagree. I don't think it would have mattered how differently he started practicing or anything. If it wasn't for Skal sucking and Poythress and Lee going through a stretch of games where they were constantly in foul trouble, he would have never got his chance to play much still. It took Skal being horrible and guys being in foul trouble for Cal to have to play Willis more minutes without pulling him out first time he got beat on defense or missed a shot. With those minutes of not getting pulled out right away he proved he can do other things in games that can help in other areas even though he is not the best on defense. Which its hard to show you can contribute in other ways in games unless you get the extended minutes to show it.

  14. #29
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    Guess I'm with @Hatz and I'll agree to disagree with ya.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by MJAlltheWay24 View Post
    I believe that it's more likely that he started playing differently in practice with these types of plays, which help earned him more PT and those type of plays continued.
    Absolutely accurate. Also, the main thing that he's overlooking is that the reason he was getting pulled was because he would have defensive and mental breakdowns. The last 4-5 games, those breakdowns haven't been occurring. Cal has always said if you're a defensive liability, he can't hide you with the system they run. It seems obvious to me that the defensive side of the ball is where Willis was losing out on PT earlier.

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