MBB practice report Oct. 18


Malik Monk goes up for a dunk during Big Blue Madness on Friday, October 14, 2016 in Lexington, Ky.

By Chris Angolia

UK basketball invited members of the media to observe practice on Tuesday afternoon as the team prepares for the upcoming season as well as the Blue and White scrimmage that is coming up on Friday night.

Forwards Tai Wynyard and Isaac Humphries both sat out Tuesday’s practice. Wynyard was out with a facial fracture suffered in the televised practice and Humphries sat out because of knee soreness.

Head coach John Calipari was impressed with freshman forward Bam Adebayo during practice. It was the things that Adebayo knew to do regardless of the fact that he was never told them by the coaching staff.

“It’s like you know what you are doing,” Calipari said to Adebayo.

While Adebayo was receiving lots of praise from the coaching staff on Tuesday, sophomore guard Isaiah Briscoe was doing a bit of coaching himself and was very vocal helping various players with certain things throughout practice.

Here are some other notes from Tuesdays practice:

Competition, competition:

The defensive period included a 1-on-1 session geared towards closing in on the man with the ball, but unfortunately for a few guys, there were consequences. It was set up as a competition to see who can score on their man and whoever scored the most, avoided running.

Cal wants his guys to shoot when open, including the big men:

Throughout the practice, it was clear that Calipari wanted his guys to take shots when given the opportunity. Briscoe at one point passed up some open shots and was reprimanded by Calipari for not shooting his new and improved jump shot. And between the big men, Wenyen Gabriel, Sacha Killeya-Jones and Adebayo, in the offensive period, each time they did not take an open jumper, they would hear it from the coaches. What is clear with those three in particular, is that they can all knock it down from mid-range and even from beyond the arch.

Strength coach Rob Harris owns 10 minutes of practice:

As one position group shot for a five-minute period, the other position group worked with coach Harris on strength and conditioning. Medicine balls, weighted sleds and dribbling resistance provided for a vigorous workout that made even the strongest of players (Adebayo) need to take a break during sled pushing.

Freshman guards on the radar:

Freshman guards Malik Monk and De’Aaron Fox were both put on preseason watch lists for the top guards in College Basketball. Monk was named to the Jerry West award watch-list for the nation’s best shooting guard and Fox was named to the Bob Cousy award watch-list for the nation’s best point guard.