Yes, John Calipari’s prized legacy recruit and Nike’s hand-selected golden boy out of middle school, wants to abort mission in Lexington to join his grandfather, Milt Wagner, with Kenny Payne down I-64. Based on what? Nothing beyond Williams’ empty and baseless thoughts during ESPN’s live broadcast of UConn vs. Indiana on Sunday.
No, seriously. This is somehow a thing.
“In our second game, obviously, Texas vs. Louisville, something that stands out from that game is Milt Wagner, who played at Louisville, one of their top players of all time, his grandson, DJ Wagner, plays for Kentucky,” Williams spewed. “There are a lot of guards on Kentucky’s roster who are really good, that can go. And you wonder how that situation plays out over time.
“Does DJ find himself back out at Louisville? I’m not saying that he can’t be a star for Kentucky because he might but it always leaves things out there where you’re wondering, if things aren’t going their way, they’ll get out and go somewhere else.”
Wagner, who proudly chose Kentucky over Louisville out of high school, is currently averaging 9.3 points, 2.8 assists and 2.3 rebounds through four games with the Wildcats. The former blue-chip prospect hasn’t yet found his footing as the go-to star many expected him to be, but he’s still been productive with plenty of runway to go — 27 regular season games, to be exact. Not a single reason for any legitimate concerns this early.
But because Reed Sheppard and Rob Dillingham are off to hot starts, it’s apparently time to start uttering nonsense.
I guess it ties in perfectly with Coach Cal’s comments following Kentucky’s 101-67 win over Stonehill.
“Every year that I coach, there is an expectation that you are supposed to win and there is an expectation that individual players are supposed to be able to do X-Y-Z. The weight of the world, it’s always been here for every player. And I’m going to be honest, it will never change,” Calipari said. “There’s an expectation. Some guys will play like they have house money and other guys are tentative, thinking a little bit too much. Every player that could really play that I have coached has been that way.
“And you know what I tell them? It’s not changing now. You’ve got to learn to deal with it. You have to learn to deal with it, it is not going away. You’re at Kentucky, every game is someone’s Super Bowl.”
Calipari’s response? He believes in guys like Wagner and Justin Edwards to figure things out, and he’ll continue to fight for them until they do. They may be in their heads right now, but he’s confident their time is coming.
And yes, it’ll be in Lexington. Despite Williams’ best efforts to create nonexistent controversy.
“We’re going through that. That’s part of what I believe, ‘I believe in every one of you, you have to believe in yourself as much as I believe in you.’ And then letting them play through some mistakes,” he added. “… I will be honest with you, folks, there is a lot at stake. That’s why I don’t take this lightly for these kids. A lot at stake.
“How do I get them right? Can I do it for them? I can put them in situations. I can teach and do and then you put them on the stage, but they have got to go. They have got to be that star. They have got to come out and really do their thing.”
Ignore the clutter.