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James Han had a really interesting interview for CSN Bay Area with former Wildcat fan-favorite Willie Cauley-Stein, about his work this offseason to improve his jump shot. WCS is working with past-Kings great, Peja Stojakovic to develop an offensive game outside of the paint.
The first thing that stuck out to me about the VP of player personnel and development is that he had Willie making 700 shots per day throughout this summer. That's 4,900 made shots every week for all of you non-math majors out there (This includes myself. I definitely used a calculator for that).
The best part is hearing how much Cauley-Stein is willing to work to improve his game. Despite always being known as a high-level defender, WCS is working to become a force on both ends of the court according to Stojakovic.
He’s eager to learn, he’s also anxious to get there, which is normal, he’s young,” Stojakovic said. “I kept telling him, ‘It’s a process. It’s days, weeks, months, years of hard work. Put it in and it will pay off.
All UK fans have been saying this about Willie for years, but it is great to see one of the best shooters in NBA history having so many positive things to say about the former Cat.
Willie is one of those players that come very rare(ly),” Stojakovic said. “He can play multiple positions, especially on the defensive end. He can guard 3’s, he can guard, 4’s and he can guard 5’s. He can play also the 4 and 5 on the offensive end. Very skilled. His athletic ability and size are just amazing. Also, great approach to the game, willing to learn.
With DeMarcus Cousins already probably the best center in the league, having Cauley-Stein as a stretch-four who can protect the rim and hopefully a developing Skal coming off the bench, the Kings are going to be a fun team to watch for UK fans in the coming years. If they could solidify what is going on with the coaching staff, the pieces are there for Sacramento to compete for a playoff spot in the stacked Western Conference.
I think he’s a natural talent,” Stojakovic said. “Just the feel for the game, his physical ability, his size. But it’s also very raw. He needs to spend some time working on fundamentals. Just to start from there. And I think he’s got a really really bright future.
As someone who has always thought Willie's shooting stroke looked good, I'm pumped to see his hard work pay off and see him be able to step away from the basket on a consistent basis in the future. His athleticism with an ability to stroke some mid range jumpers? Talk about taking your game to the next level. If you've ever played with Peja Stjakovic in the early 2000s versions of NBA Live, you know Cauley-Stein's jumper will be looking sweet in no time.
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