Basketball Cats planning return to campus during pandemic
LEXINGTON, Ky (WTVQ) – In the coming weeks, Coach Cal’s newest cats will arrive on campus to begin preparation for the next season.
Due to the pandemic, their life to begin summer workouts will look different from any team in recent memory.
While talking with Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin during “Coffee with Cal” both coaches discussed plans for players when they return, Cal Shined some light on the program’s plans for the cats.
“The protocol would be the medical stuff for three days before do anything,” said Coach Cal. “Conditioning without any of us coaching for two weeks. I still gotta meet with the parents. We would be in a bubble practice facility. Our Lodge just where our kids live.”
This means it will be weeks before the cats even hit the court together and Cal doesn’t mind that.
“We’re going to do more tape work than I’ve ever done and it may be good. Like I’m more into the mental toughness, the physical readiness, the conditioning, the weight strength, the diet to get that base set versus here’s how we play.” said Cal. “I can’t get to that, but we’re going to be forced to do it earlier and it may be better.”
When the cats do hit the court…oh boy…Cal knows it’ll be interesting.
“My worry right now is you’ll love this, I have one player returning from last year!” Cal said.
Tomlin immediately knew that is something Cal is likely licking his chops to take on.
“You love that challenge!” said Tomlin.
Coach Cal replied with, “I do love it!”
And it will be a challenge. Keion Brooks is that lone returner. He averaged just more than 4 points a game. Pendleton County’s Dontaie Allen was on the team, but redshirted.
Other than that, a freshman class headlined by 5-star prospects in BJ Boston and Terrence Clarke along with transfers will try to replace the 94% of scoring the Cats lost.
“We got one returning, nine new players whoever never stepped foot on campus other than a visit. We did take some older guys; a grad transfer Olivier Sarr from Wake Forest who’s a rising senior so he’s been in school and done it, but the reality of it is,” Cal said. “I kinda want them back. But I’d just assume have them together like you’re saying conditioning and weight training and being together a little bit.”