Probably much to the chagrin of the local media, Cal spoke with Andy Katz about some of what next season will look like for the Cats, in addition to the impact and surprise of four freshmen being one-and-done and what he’ll be doing to prepare for next season.
Cal said he originally didn’t expect to lose five players to the draft, instead planning to lose only two in Patrick Patterson and John Wall. The other three caught him a little by surprise:
“I thought Eric Bledsoe would stay,” Calipari said. “I wasn’t sure about Daniel Orton because of his knee injury and I wasn’t sure DeMarcus Cousins would grow as a person and be ready to leave. Once the season ended, I knew I’d lose all five.”
The conversation then turned to the future for the Wildcats. The most intriguing thing Katz wrote is that, in addition to a stellar recruiting class, “Calipari will also have wings Darius Miller, Darnell Dodson and DeAndre Liggins and forwards Josh Harrellson and Jon Hood in the rotation,” which is the most positivity around the Dodson situation I’ve read anywhere. Take it however you like.
Finally, Cal discussed the upcoming changes in the Cats’ style of play, given that we’ll be a little thin in terms of big guys:
“We’re going to be good, we’re just going to be a different kind of team,” Calipari said. “We do need a few more guys, maybe one more forward.”
Calipari said he will be studying how the New York Knicks play and is considering going with four guards and one forward or at times having five players out to use more of his dribble-drive-motion offense.
“We have enough good players,” Calipari said. “I’ll spend the next few months trying to figure it out. I’d like to have four perimeter guys who are 6-3 or taller and one big guy defensively, who can set ball-screens, trail and run to the post and elbow and play. Hopefully if we face a 1-3-1, we’ll make more 3s.
While it’s hard for me to see how studying the Knicks can be good for winning basketball games, seeing more of the dribble-drive in the future is something we can all get on board with, given how much was made of it when Cal was hired and how little of it we actually saw from last year’s post-oriented squad. Of course, that also likely means a return of ‘DDMO’ to the message board lexicon, which is just another reason to stay away from them (as if you needed one). Regardless, now you have an idea how the Cats will look next year, straight from our fearless leader’s mouth. You’re welcome.