Willie Cauley-Stein is legit. He came to Lexington as one of the less talked about recruits this season. Quickly, he has become one of the biggest buzzes around the basketball program. I have heard from numerous media and people close to the program that this kid is the real deal. He is a hard worker, highly motivated , and very athletic. If you don’t want to take my word for it, check out what Coach Cal had to say about him below.
Willie (Cauley-Stein) is the guy that I would tell you that I did not (foresee). First of all, I never saw him play in a high school basketball game. I saw him play football a bunch. I went to the high school and he had a tennis racquet. And we’re walking around, ‘Kid do you ever play basketball? Do you ever think about that sport?’ He was a kid that would play Wiffle ball. I told him when we recruited him, ‘You don’t even know how good you’re gonna become. You have no idea what’s going to happen for you.’
He and I were sitting in the lodge the other day, and I said, ‘Are you kind of amazed?’ He says, ‘Yeah.’ Would you say, ‘You’re better than you thought, aren’t you?’ He says, ‘Yeah.’ He’s taking on the sport for the first time where he’s really focused on this sport. He’s gained weight – 20, 25 pounds – his skill set has absolutely improved. He’s fast, he’s nimble. You see him on the football tapes. So now, he gained ground on Nerlens (Noel) because Nerlens wasn’t here. Those eight weeks of conditioning, weight training and 16 one-hour workouts put him on a different level than Nerlens. Now, I’m good with that. Because now when Nerlens catches up, you’ll see the improvement of his game. (People say) ‘Oh he’s not as good as we thought.’ OK, so when he’s drafted really high you’ll say, ‘Well, he was that way when he got him.’ Well, you just said he wasn’t what you thought? ‘Yeah, I was just saying that.’