When Kentucky freshman swingman Stacey Poole had a question about homework from a communications class, he knew exactly where to go.
Not to a tutor.
To Brandon Knight.
"He just had a couple of questions about some vocabulary words, it wasn't anything big," Knight said.
When Eloy Vargas, UK's transfer big man, feels homesick for his native Dominican Republic and wants to talk Spanish with someone, he knows exactly where to go.
Not to another Kentucky student from Latin America.
To Brandon Knight.
"We do talk (Spanish) sometimes," Knight said.
How did the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., product pick up the language?
"In school. Taking it seriously," Knight said. "(When) you're a student, you learn things. That's a thing I picked up on."
The next link in the John Calipari chain of elite point guards shapes up as a one-man booster shot to the UK team GPA.
Asked Thursday at Kentucky men's basketball media day the last time he'd seen anything other than an "A" on a school report card, Knight pondered.
"Second grade," he said. "The first time I made all A's, my dad told me he didn't want to see any more 'B's.'"
A weighted 4.3 GPA at the Pine Crest School in Fort Lauderdale suggests that mission was accomplished.
The on-the-floor success of Calipari's second Kentucky team depends in large part on how smartly Knight fills the point guard role vacated by John Wall.
One-and-done point guard for Calipari has become what quarterback at Southern Cal once was: A college sports glamour position.
Derrick Rose begat Tyreke Evans who begat Wall who now gives way to Knight.
Yet if the 6-foot-3, 195-pounder feels pressure to live up to the ghosts of Cal point guards past, he's hiding it well.
"A lot of people say it's pressure," Knight said. "I think it is exciting,"
Human nature being what it is, Knight figures to spend the winter living with constant comparisons to his immediate predecessor. Since Wall dazzled in his one year in Lexington on the way to becoming the No. 1 overall pick in last summer's NBA Draft, that could prove daunting.
"I watched him a lot," Knight said of Wall. "I watched a lot of things he did. How to run this offense. But you always look at guys before you like DRose and Tyreke. I watched a lot of tape on all those guys, especially John."
Knight's new teammates say direct comparisons of the new point guard with Wall are misguided.
"Different kind of players," said junior swingman Darius Miller. "John was always driving, slashing. Brandon is a floor general who knocks down the jump shot. They're both very good, but in different ways."
UK guard Jon Hood said, "It's almost like comparing cars. John could get from neutral to sixth gear like that, so fast. Brandon has that gear, too, but he's more stop-and-start. But it's very effective the way he does it."
For his part, Calipari said he makes a point of not comparing members of his elite point guard fraternity. That was right before he did so.
"John Wall is probably more athletic than him and lankier, yet (Knight) shoots the ball better," Cal said. "(Knight's) skilled, maybe, with the ball better."
Knight shows up early at the Joe Craft Center for workouts, Calipari said, then comes back again at 11 p.m. to work on his game. "Great kid, great attitude, great teammate," Calipari said of Knight.
In UK's three-game summer exhibition tour of Canada, Knight looked every bit like a guy who can handle being John Wall's replacement.
He had a 25-point game and a 31-point outburst in the Great White North. For the three games, he averaged 25 points and had 25 assists versus five turnovers.
"A head start on learning the offense," Knight said of the main benefit he took from the trip.
Not shockingly, Knight said his adjustment to the academic side of college has been smooth. He's carrying 15 hours this semester, including a course in (gulp) calculus.
Unlike many college freshmen, Knight said time management has not seemed that big an issue for him, noting that a UK athlete has mandatory study hall sessions with tutors.
Just what do the tutors do for a guy who hasn't made a B since second grade?
"Look over my stuff and tell me I did it right," Knight said with a grin.
Never hurts to have the smartest guy in the room running your basketball team.