UK Coach John Calipari covered each of his new signees in a press release Thursday afternoon, but he was asked specifically about recent commitment Edrice “Bam” Adebayo during his press conference later in the day.
Calipari says Adebayo -- considered a top-10 recruit in the class of 2016 by Rivals.com and ESPN -- is already better than he’s given credit for, and he struggled to come up with a comparison to another player.
“I don’t have any comparisons because, see, I think he’s way better offensively than everybody realizes,” Calipari said. “Somebody said he was 6-8, 230 (pounds). He was. In eighth grade. Now he’s 6-10, 260. ... We have to buy a couple more backboards down at Rupp, because we only have three and I’m afraid if he breaks one or breaks two … like, this kid, he’s a beast.
“My thing for him is: Lead the nation in rebounding, go get every ball, and then let’s really get you to play the way you’re capable of playing. He can shoot. I’ve seen him make threes. He can drive the ball. ... He’s always been overshadowed a little bit. Now it’s his time. It’s his time. Go play ball, man. This is your chance to do your thing and do something.”
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Calipari said one of his favorite things about this class is that all of his signees have different skill sets. Adebayo, Wenyen Gabriel, Sacha Killeya-Jones and mid-season enrollee Tai Wynyard are all listed at 6-10, but they’re different players, according to the UK coach.
“Every one of them are totally different from the other,” Calipari said. “I mean, Sacha is nothing like Wenyen, even though they’re both 6-10. And those two are nothing like Bam. And no one is like Tai. Tai is a 6-10 beast.
“The two guards (De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk) are totally different. And that’s the way I like it. Because now: Just be your best. You be your best and that’s going to be good enough.”