Derek Willis admits he's "fallen out with the game"
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Derek Willis admits he's "fallen out with the game"

Mrs. Tyler Thompsonalmost 7 years

comments A reflective Derek Willis met the media this afternoon, and admitted he's having a hard time dealing with the limited playing time he's received so far this year. Willis said being the team's 11th or 12th man has led to an internal struggle that has him questioning his passion for the game. "It's just kind of weird, you go your whole life playing, and then you're not playing as much. I've just kind of fallen out with the game and don't know what to do, really. Kind of looking for answers." Derek said he's spoken with several people about the situation, including Calipari, his father, friends, and girlfriend. "I'm trying to find answers as to what to do. I've asked a lot of people, talked to them about it. Really just getting the same thing, get in the gym more and be around the game more." Willis said that he shoulders the burden himself, and knows he needs to turn it up in practice. "I'm putting it on myself really. I need to put more effort into the game if I want to play," he said. Has he ever questioned his decision to come to UK? "God, no. I'm going to stay here four years regardless. I love this place." John Robic recognized Willis' struggle and said it was good to see him get some playing time vs. Alabama. "It's hard being that guy when you're the 11th or 12th guy," Robic said. "It was good to see him get in the other day, he did some good things. I know he had a few turnovers and didn't make a shot, but he really fed the post well." John Calipari said he was pleased with Derek's efforts against Alabama, and he wants him to keep up the intensity. "He’s gotta really step on the gas and it’s hard now. When you haven’t been playing to come in every day and spend extra time and not know if you’re going to play or not. It’s one thing if you know you’re one of those 10 and you’re playing. It’s another thing if you’re one of 10 or 11 or 12 and you don’t know if you’re going to play. It’s a hard thing, especially for a young guy." Hang in there, Derek.

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