Sunday, January 31, 2016

Calipari, Self Say Game Was Different Without Derek Willis

John Calipari and Bill Self both noted that last night's game was different when Derek Willis was battling foul trouble.

Willis eventually fouled out after being limited to 23 minutes. He managed 6 points and 5 rebounds.

"Certainly Willis getting in foul trouble helped us a lot because that allowed us to kind of switch up what we were doing defensively," Self explained after the game.

Calipari said, "Derek getting in foul trouble really affected us."

On the season, Willis is averaging 6.8 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. In Kentucky's last 5 games, the junior forward is averaged 11 points and 9 rebounds.

Self believes Willis changes the way Kentucky looks because he's difficult to guard and gives the Wildcats a perimeter threat.

"Willis is a hard guard because he can stretch it," Self said.

During the last 4 games, the Wildcats have looked considerably better with three convincing wins and a difficult overtime loss at Kansas...where teams rarely ever win.

Has Derek Willis worked his way into the role of Kentucky's most important big man?

It's hard to say that definitively but there's no question that the Wildcats look considerably better since Willis has been injected into the starting lineup.

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