Having John Calipari recruiting his son, Adou, is a little bit “unbelievable” for Almamy Thiero.
“It’s a surreal feeling. When he reached out saying he was going to recruit him, it was overwhelming,” Almamy Thiero mentioned.
He performed for Calipari at Memphis. He neglected his senior season in 2005-06 because of a preseason knee damage and performed 15 video games at Duquesne as a graduate switch prior to blood clots in his lungs ended his occupation.
His son is a 6-foot-5 guard in Pennsylvania who has emerged as some of the most sensible last unsigned gamers within the 2022 recruiting elegance. He averaged 23.2 issues, 10.3 rebounds, 5.9 assists and three.9 steals according to recreation this season for Quaker Valley.
Almamy Thiero, the director of College Basketball Prospects of America, mentioned he had stayed involved with Calipari.
“Mainly texting back and forth a lot, especially at holidays,” Almamy Thiero mentioned. “I would text and he would always text me back. We even went to Kentucky for a couple of camps and my son loved Kentucky and was super happy when he (Calipari) got here. He went to his mom when Coach walked through the door and said he couldn’t believe it.”
Adou Thiero plans to take an reliable discuss with to Kentucky quickly and his father says his son can be searching for a faculty the place he can lend a hand the crew that has a trainer who will expand him.
“You have to go through the process of asking questions, talking to players and see how things go,” Almamy Thiero mentioned. “If he needs any help, we are here to help guide him. When the time for a decision comes, his mom and I will be here to help. We just have to help him get out and see at least a couple of schools and then figure out what is best for him.
“He has worked hard for this opportunity. We knew this was coming at some point. He was frustrated when he was smaller and could see the height his mom (his mother, Mariam, was a NAIA standout at Oklahoma City and was a third-round pick of the Washington Mystics in the WNBA in 2006) and dad had, but he was still a peanut. He played through it and that will help him at the next level. He had to earn every bucket he got as a small point guard.”
That modified as went from a 5-7 highschool level guard to now being 6-6 – but he saved the entire talents he had on the smaller dimension
“He is unselfish. He will make the right play. If you are open, you get the ball. He will never take a bad shot,” his father mentioned. “He is a pass-first, score-second guard. If you take his passes away, he will score. He can play outside at 3-point range to midrange all the way to the rim. He is a three-level scorer.”
Adou Thiero may be similarly professional with both hand as a result of his father made certain the rest he did right-handed, he additionally did left-handed.
“From 3 years old on, we did that,” Almamy Thiero mentioned. “Basketball is a two-way game. He can’t be right-handed or left-handed dominant. It’s too easy to guard if you can only go one direction.”
His father additionally taught Adou he needed to do greater than ranking and go.
“You can’t wait for big men to rebound. You have got to get in there and get your nose dirty,” Almamy Thiero mentioned. “This year he was one of the tallest kids on his team. He had to run point, rebound, defend the rim. He had to be one of the highest shot blocking point guards in the country. He had a triple-double with blocked shots as a point guard. It’s just been amazing to see the growth and different dimensions he’s added to his game.”
Almamy has fond reminiscences of enjoying for Calipari. He calls him a players-first trainer who does care about gamers.
“Everything he does for his players is high end,” Almamy mentioned. “He knows how to maximize a player’s potential. He doesn’t cut corners in practice, film, game preparation.
“He is a great coach. When Adou was a little man he went to Kentucky (for camps). He knows Kentucky and knows the background and history of the school. It is a really big honor to have a Hall of Fame coach reach out and say come play for me.”
After main the country in rebounding at 15.1 according to recreation and likewise main Kentucky in scoring (17.4 issues), steals (1.8), blocks (1.6) and box objective share (60.6), junior Oscar Tshiebwe was once named participant of the yr via the National Association of Basketball Coaches, Sporting News, Associated Press and U.S. Basketball Writer’s Association
He was once the primary UK participant – and primary Southeastern Conference participant – to win the NABC award. Anthony Davis additionally received the AP, Sporting News and USBWA participant of the yr honors.
Tshiebwe’s luck has no longer shocked Wildcats Select AAU founder/director Tom Droney, who coached the Kentucky heart all the way through his prep occupation in Pennsylvania prior to he signed with West Virginia and sooner or later transferred to Kentucky.
“He was able to play his game and not look over his shoulder about making mistakes or coming out at Kentucky,” Droney mentioned. “The Kentucky coaching staff gave him a lot of confidence and he fit right in from the time he got there.”
Droney was once a little bit shocked that Tshiebwe was once so liked via Kentucky fanatics.
“That was kind of amazing to see, but it is just the type of person he is and the personality he has,” Droney mentioned. “He gives people his time and that resonates with fans. He is not too big to stop and take a picture or sign an autograph. He just has a way to impact fans.”
Droney mentioned Tshiebwe was once a “little more shy and introverted” in highschool.
“He was really dealing with the language barrier then, but he’s always been a kind person. His faith has been important to him from day one,” Droney mentioned. “He’s just always been a special kid and now he’s also a special player.”
Tshiebwe emphasised that once more along with his remark after successful the USBWA award on the Final Four in New Orleans.
“I just give all the glory back to God because whatever is happening, it is incredible. Give all the glory back to God and thank God for everything,” Tshiebwe mentioned. “I thank my circle of relatives, my coaches, my pals, my teammates, everyone serving to me to get the place I’m lately. I’m very grateful for they all. And I’m very thankful. I can’t wait to look what God, he is about to do with me.”
Kentucky’s offense underneath former San Francisco 49ers quarterback trainer Rich Scangarello is predicted to make handiest minor adjustments from what offensive coordinator Liam Coen did remaining yr when UK received 10 video games. However, linebacker Jacquez Jones has been very inspired via what he’s observed all the way through spring apply.
“This offense is wild,” Jones mentioned. “That’s all I can really tell you. You gotta have great eyes. I made a joke that there’s so many (eyes) crossing, even the head coach be crossing. It messes with your eyes a lot.
“This offense is going to be deadly. And they’re not even halfway through the playbook. It’s only going to be more to come. I feel like it’s going to be a step up from last year.”
Center Eli Cox mentioned Scangarello is “very methodical” in the whole lot he does.
“He’s very detail-oriented, coming from the NFL. He is bringing all that attention to us,” Cox mentioned. “Last year coach Coen had to adapt to what we had. He is tailoring more things for us to do and our offense is going to have a lot more to show this year.”
Cox is transferring from guard to heart this yr and quarterback Will Levis says it’s been a clean transition.
“We still have some snaps not up to our standard, but we have a lot of time to get extra reps and snaps,” Levis mentioned. “He has done a really good job. There’s a lot on his plate moving from guard to center with making calls, but he is a good kid and can do that.”
Kentucky signee Cason Wallace says his conversations with trainer John Calipari not too long ago had been extra about his upcoming occupation at Kentucky than the rest that came about on the finish of UK’s season.
“(Calipari) just told me to go be a player,” Wallace mentioned on the McDonald’s All-American Game. “I’m going to be on the court. Numbers don’t really matter, it’s just a spot that you’ve got to be in. Being able to go out there and be myself is something that I’m glad to have.”
Unlike some gamers, Wallace isn’t actively looking to convince different gamers to enroll in him at Kentucky.
“I am not a recruiter. I am a player. I am not really a good recruiter,” he admitted.
However, he is a superb participant and was once named a McDonald’s All-American.
“It means everything to me,” he mentioned about enjoying within the McDonald’s Game. “It is something I have dreamed about my whole life. My cousin made me write down goals and the first thing I wrote down was being a McDonald’s All-American. Being able to show everybody what I am capable of is a very special moment for me.”
He mentioned Kentucky’s basketball legacy appealed to him and it had at all times been his dream to play for UK.
“I like to stick to my path. If I put my mind to something, I want to go and get it. So I went and got it. It was kind of a no-brainer for me. I wanted it, I went and got it, so why not just go ahead and go there?” Wallace, who additionally mentioned he likes the way in which UK gamers “stick” when they get to the NBA, mentioned.
He’s no longer nervous concerning the drive of Kentucky basketball overwhelming him, both.
“Pressure is everything for me. I like pressure, really. Pressure is who I am,” he mentioned. “I have been dealing with pressure my whole life. I am good for a little challenge. Just doing what I am capable of doing and show fans and supporters we will go far next season.”
Senior Riley Gaines ended her Kentucky swimming occupation with 11 SEC Championship medals. Four have been gold – 3 folks and one relay. She earned All-American honors and was once 5th within the 200-yard freestyle on the NCAA Championships this yr.
She nonetheless recalls coming from Gallatin, Tenn., for her recruiting discuss with and what UK trainer Lars Jorgensen informed her.
“He said I was not a fantastic recruit. He said, ‘You are OK, but you are more walk-on material. Maybe you can squeeze into a C-final at SEC.’ It’s amazing how far I have come,” Gaines mentioned. “I told my mom I wanted to go home when he said that to me. My face was super red. Now we are close enough we can joke about it.
“He develops these tactics that people feed off of and knows what motivates freshmen. It can be tough, but he said things to fire me up. You could look at his comments as hurtful and mean, but I know it was just tough love. He would trash talk you, but that was part of what makes this special for me.”
Gaines received each the 200 freestyle and 200 butterfly on the SEC and was once happy with how she did at nationals.
“It’s typically hard for a swimmer to go back-to-back like you have to do with the SEC and NCAA only a few weeks apart,” Gaines mentioned. “It’s hard to build yardage back up and then come down again for NCAA. I did not have a ton of expectations for the NCAA. I did want to finish with All-America honors, and did that. I think I represented UK at the highest level I could.
“My time (in the 200 free) was not fantastic, but after getting seventh last year I wanted to prove I could do better and I got fifth. I could have done a little better if I had been on my A game and maybe got second or third. But the girl who won, I could not have gone that time.”
Now she is taking part in the “retired life” whilst ready to look if she’s authorized into dental faculty at UK.
“It is definitely weird having so much time. I have gone from having this set routine that you couldn’t stray from the past 15 years. Now there’s no one telling me what to do and no set instructions,” Gaines mentioned.
Quote of the Week: “He was on the glass, and he did a really nice job of setting up his teammates. There’s no doubting that he’s physically ready to play in Lexington,” 247Sports nationwide basketball director Eric Bossi, on UK signee Chris Livingston after the McDonald’s All-American Game.
Quote of the Week 2: “I think people are just going in different ways a little bit now. But I think Kentucky will still always be Kentucky. What Cal does over there is really good for that program. I think they’ll always be a blue blood of college basketball,” Duke signee Mark Mitchell, at the belief of the Kentucky basketball program.
Quote of the Week 3: “We have high expectations and high standards. Even though you might make a mistake, mistakes aren’t acceptable but you can’t beat yourself up. As long as we trust the coaches we can build on what we did and hopefully have an even better season this year,” Kentucky quarterback Will Levis.