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Kentucky Among Teams Facing A Logjam

The only problem with signing the greatest recruiting class of all time is finding a way to get all of them on the court. Especially when you have two draft picks who opted to return to school to hone their game. Yes, Kentucky is loaded with depth which is why Jordan Brennar of named them 0ne the teams facing a logjam this upcoming season. Here’s what Brennar had to say:


In the NBA, a trade would be imminent. A pack of similarly sized, relatively evenly skilled players is considered leverage at the pro level — excess at one spot that can fetch help at another.

But college basketball, of course, allows no such roster manipulation. And, given the vagaries of recruiting, programs occasionally end up with a glut of talent at a given position. Coaches refer to this as a good problem. They use the numbers game to make practices more competitive and focused. But an abundance of talent can also cause problems, as coaches search for ways to get their best players on the floor together without compromising their system.

In the mix:
Willie Cauley-Stein (7-0, 244, So.)
Julius Randle (6-9, 250, Fr.)
Alex Poythress (6-7, 239, So.)
Dakari Johnson (6-10, 260, Fr.)
Marcus Lee (6-9, 200, Fr.)

The dilemma: John Calipari’s revolving one-and-done door typically has led to top-heavy rosters and short benches. But this season, Kentucky is loaded in the post with five potential first-round picks. Even with Poythress at small forward, there are only 80 minutes available in the post. And two of the four candidates — Randle and Cauley-Stein — are simply too good to sit for long stretches.

Most coaches would see having too many guys as a problem however I expect John Calipari will be using this as an opportunity. Last year we saw what happened when Cal didn’t have the bench to use as a teaching point. Next year we will see what happens when he has a bench that is completely stacked. With 5 guys worthy of the starting position you know there is going to be a real next one up mentality and if a guy is playing with maximum effort then he will be riding the pine. Also with limited playing time a couple of these guys could end up sticking around for a second or :gasp: third year. Again not a bad thing when the 2014 recruiting class isn’t looking like it will be as stellar as these last few.

While there is certainly a logjam in the frontcourt that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. How do you think it will shake out when the Cats finally tip off this fall?

Article written by Andrew Cassady

Follow me @ACassady_KSR

37 Comments for Kentucky Among Teams Facing A Logjam

  1. Kev
    9:33 pm September 6, 2013 Permalink

    Thunder just waived Liggins after he waived on his wife. Overseas bound.

  2. Bunny
    9:36 pm September 6, 2013 Permalink

    It’s a good problem to have but Cal must find playing time for all his top guys or he won’t be having it again…

  3. Brian the Derpface
    9:39 pm September 6, 2013 Permalink

    This is pretty much why Wiltjer transferred, and why it pretty much doesn’t affect us much if at all in the end.

  4. bigcatstanding
    9:49 pm September 6, 2013 Permalink

    #1 thanks for the insight, that clears up everything we just read duh!! back to the real problem at hand isn’t this a great problem, not only do we have several post players, we are more crowded at the guard position than people think. Go back and watch the video on the dunks from 2 days ago, and some of the best dunks you see are coming from a walk on. Floreal is the fastest player on the team, and a great athlete, not to mention that Hawkins is more than capable of playing minutes this year.

  5. Ridge Runner
    9:56 pm September 6, 2013 Permalink

    I love these “problems”!

    I do think Poythress may get more time with WCS & Randle in the beginning. That is kind of a no brainer for a returnee to start that way.

    Damn, I’m ready for basketball!

  6. RahRah
    9:57 pm September 6, 2013 Permalink

    I won’t lie, I like the sound of second or even (gasp) third season for a few of these guys. Can’t wait for the season!
    Cats 2014!

  7. SoCal Will
    9:59 pm September 6, 2013 Permalink

    I suspect all five are not similarly skilled and by mid December the three freshmen will be the front court the first and last 10 minutes of meaningful games. Otherwise, Cal will see that all five get their minutes. I trust him to go all out for 40-0 and #9.

  8. ManuteBol
    10:10 pm September 6, 2013 Permalink

    We know Randle and WCS are going to get their minutes. I also think Poythress has turned the corner and should be counted on to provide significant minutes. Johnson and Lee will have the most to prove, although I’ve heard both have looked solid in pick ups and work outs. The thing is…there are so many different combinations of line ups that you can use with this bunch because all the players are pretty versatile and can play multiple positions…with the exception of Dakari (who is a true 5). That’s what makes this team so dangerous…take one facet away and something else gets thrown at you. If one gets in foul trouble, I don’t see much of an issue with someone else stepping up. You can never have too many post players come NCAA tourney time and I would think that puts the Cats at an advantage. Obviously, there are going to be games where some play more than others, but I think his group might have the ’12 team mentality and only worry about the W column. Guess we will see…

  9. Kev
    10:18 pm September 6, 2013 Permalink

    4) thank u for the kind words. I am late catching up on the website because I am currently deployed overseas. Hope u and your family have a wonderful weekend. Thanks again for the kind words. Go CATS!

  10. catfan
    10:25 pm September 6, 2013 Permalink

    Well, I dont see a problem. C, SF, and PF. Those are three spots and in Cals system (dribble drive) those positions are interchangeable. The way I see it is 5 players for 3 spots, meaning everyone has a backup, meaning there is at least 20 mins available to all of those players depending on who is hot, who we are playing, and how the game flows. Again, I dont see the problem. Sounds like someone making a mountain our of a mole hill.

  11. bosshog
    10:54 pm September 6, 2013 Permalink

    All I see is a writer who needs another column, and you can always count on the old cliches about being “crowded.” Complete BS…will only mean trouble in the long run for the competition. There are plenty of minutes to go around for everyone when you consider the attitudes of this group. They chose to come here because they wanted to be a part of history, and I think they will be. And we all know that Daniel Orton got drafted in the first round as a back-up who played relatively few minutes-all that matters in the end is that you go to the league, and all these kids know it.

  12. Danceswithwolves
    10:55 pm September 6, 2013 Permalink

    @9 – don’t sweat it Kev – even for this site, fatcatrunningoffatthemouth is known for his douchebaggery. Dude has personal issues and needs really just to STFU.

  13. MercerNary
    10:57 pm September 6, 2013 Permalink

    This team is going to have a lot of fouls to give in the paint. I think those teams that wanted to turn the basketball game into a football game last year are going to get a little payback this season.

  14. J in Orlando
    11:03 pm September 6, 2013 Permalink

    The media is really stretching to create controversy with this team. Almost as if they want to derail our team to help (ahem, Duke) other teams.

  15. Kev
    11:05 pm September 6, 2013 Permalink

    12) I’m not. Just amusing to talk smack when we are all on here (hopefully) supporting the BBN.

  16. Michael
    11:08 pm September 6, 2013 Permalink

    I’m interested what the rotation will look like to start the season. In my opinion:

    G Andrew Harrison
    G James Young
    F A. Poythress
    F J. Randle
    F W. Cauley

    Aaron, Marcus, and Dakari get reserve minutes. That would be an 8 man rotation. Polsen/Hawkins will likely get some minutes. I think Andrew and Randle play the most.

  17. Cats
    11:15 pm September 6, 2013 Permalink

    16… Aaron will start alongside his bro. If you think otherwise you are misinformed

  18. catfan
    11:29 pm September 6, 2013 Permalink

    James Young will not start. Well, lets put it this way, I would be very surprised it Aaron doesnt start with his brother.

  19. catfan
    11:33 pm September 6, 2013 Permalink

    floreal will get garbage minutes with hawkins, polson, and hood. Anyone thinking that Floreal will play significant minutes on this team is dreaming

  20. AdolphRupp
    12:03 am September 7, 2013 Permalink

    5 Studs at the 4 and 5
    3 Studs at the 1 and 2
    What a problem for Cal…

  21. Michael
    12:13 am September 7, 2013 Permalink

    17 It’s just an opinion. The only information that I have is that both are good, I just think Young is better. Aaron could very well start though.

  22. Kev
    12:52 am September 7, 2013 Permalink

    Can’t wait to see these boys lace em up against the competition. Reminds me of the ’96 team on paper.

  23. bigcatstanding
    1:20 am September 7, 2013 Permalink

    #12. or dancingwithotheronesfatwives. how am I to know he is getting news late, and another thing I was just saying that’s not the topic. And for #1 Kev if you’re serving our country I appreciate that and don’t know where he gets I have issues, but I also apologize for correcting you about staying on topic my bad, you yourself for real not sarcastic on my part but for real be safe. #19 hope you don’t think I said that floreal was going to play significant minutes, when I pointed out that we had dept at the guard position also. I do on the other hand think he will surprise a lot of people with his athleticism and speed, don’t really know a whole lot about his skills or how well he shoots though. that kid in high school was one 1000 of the state record in the 100 meter, so he definitely will be the fastest on the team.

  24. bigcatstanding
    1:27 am September 7, 2013 Permalink

    #22 I’m like you let’s lace them up and get this show on the road, far as I’m concerned football could just be scratched and move on to bigger and better things. BBN RULES ILF#9

  25. bigcatstanding
    1:36 am September 7, 2013 Permalink

    #16 your lineup is exactly right if you go by the talent, but you have the chemistry between the two brothers so that kind of sets James Young down. if you go to youtube and watch highlights on all of these kids, James Young by far is the best shooter. Young everytime I see him shooting a three pointer, it’s almost like the 3 point line isn’t even in the picture, because he’s so deep, almost every shot he is 5 plus feet beyond the line, this year is going to be unreal.

  26. Women Everywhere
    1:42 am September 7, 2013 Permalink

    I distinctly remember the Cats having this problem in 95-96. I’m fine with that. #nine

  27. Kev
    1:50 am September 7, 2013 Permalink

    24) can’t wait…..gonna be a fun ride.

  28. bigcatstanding
    8:09 am September 7, 2013 Permalink

    #27 I agree and like I said before I appreciate what you do for our country, and this makes way more sense to communicate this way to each other, than the way I did you yesterday so like I said before I apologize for that. GO BIG BLUE

  29. bigcatstanding
    8:18 am September 7, 2013 Permalink

    #26. you got that right almost every team in college basketball has 3 or 4 too many players at a position, if they have any team at all. That 6 foot 7 Center that Louisville thinks so much of barely even played last year, so they evidently also had issues right. 80 percent off all Division 1 colleges normally run 12 or more scholarship players, meaning you’re either going to be heavy at guard, or forward, almost never are loaded at center.

  30. Jordan
    10:30 am September 7, 2013 Permalink

    Good problem to have if you ask me, never know when injuries might pop up. The only thing Im worried about is Marcus Lee and maybe Dakari or Young not getting enough PT. They are great players and deserve to be on the court

  31. Prepare for 2014-2015!!
    10:59 am September 7, 2013 Permalink

    We are NOT losing Lee, and we may keep Johnson (I think he’ll surprise everyone and stay). Willis, Hawkins, and Floreal will also return improved, and will all be reserves for next year (as opposed to scrub minutes this year). So, our 3 big NBA-after-THIS-season players to really watch out for are all going to the NBA after this year: Poythress, Randle, and Cauley-Stein. Why is Poythress even in this convo? He’s a small forward, unless for some reason Coach Cal wants REALLY small ball (which won’t happen this year, cause all of Cal’s players are massive).

  32. Catcounsel
    12:03 pm September 7, 2013 Permalink

    Come on, this story about an “overload” problem is not even recognized or acknowledged in the Commonwealth by the Big Blue Nation when it comes to Basketball!!! We will always take all we can get in our neverending search for #9! Thanks to Calipari for giving us a team that will be deep enough to play all 40 games this coming season, no worry about fouls here! Go Cats!!

  33. Wildcatsteeler
    12:06 pm September 7, 2013 Permalink

    That isn’t a logjam. Dakari is still developing and isn’t expected to get a lot of minutes. But with the whistle happy refs he will get plenty of minutes anyway. Randle will get his 30 minutes a game. Poythress will get the majority of the other forward minutes with Lee getting plenty of time subbing for both Randle and Poythress. And considering many games will be blowouts early the subs will see plenty of time at every position. Hell, playing each other in practice is going to be like a tournament game so everyone is going to get plenty of high quality experience.

  34. sterve
    2:08 pm September 7, 2013 Permalink

    1. Andrew
    2. Aaron
    3. Poythress
    4. Randle
    5. WCS

    3. James
    4. Lee
    5. Johnson

    If by logjam, you mean “having quality bench players”, you’re correct. Not rocket science. Go cats.

  35. sterve
    2:14 pm September 7, 2013 Permalink

    and does anyone know how to get a picture next to your name instead of that blue picture with that white power button looking thing?

  36. ronnie owens
    10:18 pm September 7, 2013 Permalink

    Well everyone does this crap, and put the team top of the mountain, and then get blowed off real fast.They have not played one second yet, and everbody done got them number 9 wow iv been a fan for 50 years and when u think u got them all won you better watch out, then your going to fall,like last year aaaaa number 1 class see don get it with the big blue fans a lot of really good teams out there who thought the ville would have won it all hey they might again I hope not

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