Willie Trill Cauley-Stein (born Willie Durmond Cauley Jr. on August 18, 1993) is an American professional basketball player for the Sacramento Kings of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball with the Kentucky Wildcats.
Cauley-Stein in 2015 with Kentucky
|No. 00 – Sacramento Kings|
|Born||August 18, 1993|
|Listed height||7 ft 0 in (2.13 m)|
|Listed weight||240 lb (109 kg)|
|High school||Olathe Northwest (Olathe, Kansas)|
|NBA draft||2015 / Round: 1 / Pick: 6th overall|
|Selected by the Sacramento Kings|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Stats at NBA.com|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
High school careerEdit
Born and raised in a Spearville, KS, Cauley-Stein as a sophomore transferred to Olathe Northwest High School in Olathe, Kansas, where he played basketball and football. As a junior, he averaged 15.8 points and 8.5 rebounds per game.
Cauley-Stein was not eligible to play varsity football until his senior year, but he was convinced to play wide receiver when he did. In 2011, he helped his high school win a 7-on-7 football tournament at the University of Kansas and was offered a football scholarship on the spot. In his senior season, Cauley-Stein averaged 19.7 yards per catch while sometimes playing as cornerback. He finished with 64 catches for 1,265 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Cauley-Stein started out his college career as a bench center, backing up top prospect Nerlens Noel. During his time as a back-up, Cauley-Stein ended up averaging 7.8 points on 63.9% field goal shooting, 5.5 rebounds, 1.7 blocks, 1.0 assists, and 0.8 steals in 20 games of play.
Cauley-Stein earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors twice (1/7, 2/25). Cauley-Stein's season-high came against Vanderbilt as he posted 20 points to go with 7 rebounds. In a couple weeks prior, he was a perfect 5-5 from the field against Auburn.
On February 12, 2013, in a game against the Florida Gators, Noel tore the ACL in his left knee after blocking a Florida lay-up, forcing him to sit out the remainder of the season. Cauley-Stein was given the starting center position due to Noel's season-ending injury. In Noel's absence, he recorded three double-doubles in six games including 10 points and 11 rebounds against Georgia and 13 points, 10 rebounds to go with four blocks at Arkansas.
After SEC play ended he was named to the All-SEC Freshman team. At the end of the season he averaged 8.3 points and 6.2 rebounds per game after appearing in 29 games while making 14 starts.
During the 2013–14 season, he appeared in 37 games, making 18 starts while averaging 6.8 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game. His tallied 106 blocks for the season is a total that ranks as the second-most in a single season in school history.
His terrific sophomore season led to him being named to the All-SEC Defensive Team. He recorded a career-high nine blocks twice during the season against Providence and Boise State. He really started coming into his own towards the end of the season. In the SEC Tournament, he recorded 10 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks vs. #1 Florida in the SEC Championship game.
Due to an injury to his leg suffered during the 2014 NCAA Tournament in a game against Louisville, Cauley-Stein missed the remainder of the season. He decided to return for his junior season due to his injury; he was a projected top-15 pick in the 2014 NBA draft prior to his injury.
In 2014–15, Cauley-Stein was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year. He was also selected to the All-SEC First Team, the All-SEC Defensive Team and the USA Today first team All-American Team.
Sacramento Kings (2015–present)Edit
On June 25, 2015, Cauley-Stein was selected by the Sacramento Kings with the sixth overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft. On July 16, he signed with the Kings. He made his debut for the Kings in their season opener on October 28, recording two points and two rebounds in a 111–104 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. He made his first career start two days later and recorded 17 points and nine rebounds in a 132–114 win over the Los Angeles Lakers. Cauley-Stein missed most of December with a right index finger injury. On January 20, he recorded his first career double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds in a 112–93 win over the Lakers. On March 25, he scored a then career-high 26 points in a 116–94 win over the Phoenix Suns. At the season's end, he earned NBA All-Rookie Second Team honors.
On February 23, 2017, following the DeMarcus Cousins trade, Cauley-Stein was given extended minutes off the bench and came through with a career-high 29 points and 10 rebounds to help the Kings defeat the Denver Nuggets 116–100.
On October 29, 2018, Cauley-Stein scored 26 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in a 123–113 win over the Miami Heat. On December 23, 2018, he had 22 points and a career-high 17 rebounds in a 122–117 win over the New Orleans Pelicans.
NBA career statisticsEdit
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
On May 1, 2015, Willie officially filed a name-change order with the Probate Division of the Fayette District Court to change his birth name. He did it to honor his mother, Marlene Stein, and his maternal grandparents Norma and Val Stein, who raised him after his father left him at a young age. He also added "Trill" as a middle name, a nickname given to him by friends.
- "Willie Cauley-Stein". Rivals.com. Retrieved March 25, 2016.
- "Cauley-Stein, a monstrous wide receiver". sportingnews.com. Retrieved November 7, 2018.
- "Kings Select Willie Cauley-Stein In The First Round". NBA.com. June 25, 2015. Retrieved June 27, 2015.
- "Kings Sign Willie Cauley-Stein". NBA.com. July 16, 2015. Retrieved July 17, 2015.
- "Griffin leads Clippers past Kings 111-104 in opener". NBA.com. October 28, 2015. Retrieved October 28, 2015.
- "Willie Cauley-Stein 2015-16 Game Log". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved December 4, 2015.
- "Willie Cauley-Stein Injury Update". NBA.com. December 3, 2015. Retrieved December 4, 2015.
- "Kings beat Suns; coach Karl ties for 5th most wins". NBA.com. January 2, 2016. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
- "Cauley-Stein busts out offensively, Kings beat Suns 116, 94". NBA.com. March 25, 2016. Retrieved March 25, 2016.
- "Wolves' Towns, Knicks' Porzingis lead 2015-16 NBA All-Rookie teams". NBA.com. May 19, 2016. Retrieved May 19, 2016.
- "Cauley-Stein scores 29, Kings beat Nuggets 116-100". ESPN.com. February 23, 2017. Retrieved February 24, 2017.
- "Carter has big fourth quarter to lead Kings past Nuggets". ESPN.com. January 6, 2018. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
- "Kings run away after halftime, top Heat 123-113". ESPN.com. October 29, 2018. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
- "Kings rally in 4th quarter to beat Pelicans 122-117". ESPN.com. December 23, 2018. Retrieved December 24, 2018.
- Johnson, Hillary Louise (October 12, 2017). "Center of Attention". sactownmag.com. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
- Sherman, Rodger (May 4, 2015). "Willie Cauley-Stein legally changes name to 'Willie Trill Cauley-Stein'". SBNation.com. Retrieved March 25, 2016.
- Willie Cauley-Stein’s path to Final Four with Kentucky started in small Kansas town