Sacramento Kings

Kings season primer: Willie Cauley-Stein quickly making a splash

Video: Sacramento Kings rookie Willie Cauley-Stein impressing coach, teammates

Sacramento Kings rookie Willie Cauley-Stein impressing coach George Karl and teammates said he fits well with DeMarcus Cousins after 95092 victory against the San Antonio Spurs in a pre-season game at Sleep Train Arena,
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Sacramento Kings rookie Willie Cauley-Stein impressing coach George Karl and teammates said he fits well with DeMarcus Cousins after 95092 victory against the San Antonio Spurs in a pre-season game at Sleep Train Arena,

The Sacramento Bee provides a primer for each of the 15 players on the Kings’ roster entering their 2015-16 campaign, which begins Wednesday, Oct. 28, at home against the Los Angeles Clippers. View the rest of the profiles here.

Willie Cauley-Stein played three seasons for Kentucky. At age 22, he is something of an old NBA rookie. As the sixth pick in last spring’s draft, Cauley-Stein isn’t being asked to be his team’s savior. The Kings would simply like him to play hard and let everything else happen.

Cauley-Stein needs work on his offense; he averaged 8.0 points a game in his career at Kentucky. But he has shown flashes on defense, essentially the reason the Kings selected him. He has range and an ability to protect the basket.

Cauley-Stein’s adjustment to the NBA game will be a process, but he’s on track, coach George Karl said.

“I think he’s getting more comfortable,” Karl said during the preseason. “I think he’s getting in better shape. I think he has to understand for him to get on the court, energy is probably more important than skills.”

PLAYER BIO: WILLIE CAULEY-STEIN

Position/jersey: Center, No. 00

Height/weight: 7-0, 240

Age: 22

Experience: Rookie

Prior to NBA: Kentucky

Key 2014-15 stat: Shot 61.7 percent from the foul line as a junior after shooting 37.2 percent as a freshman.

Comment: Athleticism and shot blocking will be valuable as Kings try to improve their defense.

Jason Jones

You’ve got to find out how you move somebody who is bigger than you. You’ve got to play smarter than them.

Willie Cauley-Stein

MULTIMEDIA

Video: Sacramento Kings rookie Willie Cauley-Stein impressing coach, teammates

Video: Willie Cauley-Stein catches DeMarcus Cousins on his weak side

Video: Willie Cauley-Stein’s first day of mini-camp

Video: Willie Cauley-Stein says start of NBA season is ‘surreal’

Gallery: Meet Kings draft pick Willie Cauley-Stein of Kentucky

STORY LINES

Ailene Voisin: Kings’ Cauley-Stein isn’t typical NBA first-round draft pick

Cauley-Stein impressing coaches, teammates with energy, effort

Big men anchor Kings’ improving defense

Kings looking at different options at power forward

Ailene Voisin: Willie Cauley-Stein slam dunks his Kings introduction

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