Big Blue Links: Meet the basketball Cats

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With UK football off this week, we’re using Saturday’s Big Blue Links to review our Kentucky basketball “Meet the Cats” (so far) series:

Kentucky a picture-perfect situation for Mychal Mulder, reports Jerry Tipton of the Herald-Leader. “After leading Windsor’s Catholic Central High to a Provincial championship, Mulder decided to attend Vincennes University. He turned down Detroit Mercy’s scholarship offer. He wanted to improve his basketball profile.”

Charles Matthews is a potential defensive stopper, reports Tipton. “If you’re wondering who will be Kentucky’s defensive stopper this coming season, it would be wise to consider freshman Charles Matthews. He has the size and mobility (6-foot-6, 189 pounds) to harass the opposition’s perimeter scorers as well as hold his own closer to the basket. And, maybe more importantly, he seemed to warm to the idea of being assigned the role.”

Marcus Lee ready to make the most of his opportunity, reports Tipton. “His skills are better,” Calipari said. “His confidence is better. . . Now, I think he looks out there and he’s well beyond Skal physically (and in) conditioning.”

Isaac Humphries lured by Cal’s tactics, reports Tipton. “Humphries, a native of Sydney, Australia, had come to La Porte in 2014 to play for the La Lumiere School. He was in the class of 2016. When he decided to reclassify and enter college this year, Calipari’s interest increased. The UK coach saw in Humphries a 7-foot Plan B for this season’s Kentucky front line.”

Dominique Hawkins tries to find his niche, reports Tipton. “That Hawkins found a way to contribute — as a defensive stopper — can serve as valuable experience going into this coming season. With as many as three other point guards in the mix for playing time, and Tyler Ulis the unquestioned primary ballhandler and decision-maker, Hawkins again will need to be resourceful to get playing time.”

Labissiere’s potential similar to earlier bigs, reports Tipton. “All kids are different,” the UK coach said. “Different makeup. Different work capacities. Different toughness. All I want him to do is be the best he can be. I’m not comparing him to anybody. I’m telling you he’s got a ways to go, and he knows it though. He’ll be the first to tell you.”

Floreal awaiting his opportunity, reports Tipton. “I mean, Cal has told me that even in the past, when I’ve felt like I haven’t been able to help this team that much, that I’ve helped them so much,” Floreal said. “It’s stuff that people don’t see. I don’t need people to see it. I just want to make an impact on this team.”

Briscoe learning to take out the trash, reports Tipton. “Briscoe’s game has been an eloquent spokesman. As a high school junior and senior, he led Roselle Catholic to New Jersey’s Non-Public B championship. In 2014-15, he averaged 20.8 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists and was named a McDonald’s All-American.”

Jonny David hopes shooting gives him a shot, reports Tipton. “As a third-generation college basketball player, Kentucky freshman Jonny David brings an unusually robust résumé to walk-on status. Both his father, Joe, and his grandfather, Samuel, played for Pittsburgh. Joe led the Panthers in assists as a senior in 1985-86, while Samuel was the leading scorer (15.6 ppg) as a senior in 1948-49.”

Cats shrugging off the pressure, reports Metz Camfield of coachcal.com. “The past two seasons have begun with the Wildcats ranked No. 1 nationally and fielding questions from reporters about whether they would lose a single game. Those questions may not exist this preseason, but the national title expectations certainly remain for the fan base as Kentucky will once again begin the year somewhere in the top five.”

Kentucky women’s soccer ties Vandy 0-0, reports UKAA. “The University of Kentucky women’s soccer team posted its eighth clean sheet of the season behind two saves from freshman goalkeeper Katelyn Jensen, but were not able to generate a goal from 25 shots and 13 corner kicks, as the No. 20 Wildcats drew with the Vanderbilt Commodores 0-0 on Friday night.”

Related content

Willie Cauley-Stein impressing coaches, teammates with Kings

Follow Jerry Tipton on Twitter

John Clay Podcast: Kentucky football so far

Kentucky basketball 2014-15 results in a Google Doc

Lexington Herald-Leader high school football coverage

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