With the bench proving to be a very vital teaching tool this season, John Calipari can deliver a strong message to his players: We can win without you.
On this morning’s SEC coaches teleconference, he pointed out that Kentucky has managed to win games without Julius Randle, Andrew Harrison, Aaron Harrison or James Young.
“Now what’s important about that is those guys know: If you don’t come to play and compete and battle, you’re not quite ready, you’re out and we’ll win without you,” Calipari said of his star players. “That is very important for a team to know and I’ve made it a point to let them know that. Whether it’s Julius or Aaron or Andrew or James — we have enough.”
Calipari called Derek Willis one guy he has to get engaged because he has been playing so well in practice. Willis is averaging three minutes per game with six DNPs.
“I’ve gotta get him started a little bit,” Cal said. “He and Marcus Lee are the two that we’ve gotta keep engaged, because I really think before it’s all said and done, they’re going to help us win games.”
The issue is finding them opportunities to prove it.