Oh, you said you wanted to stop talking about football and start talking about basketball? Sounds like a plan to me.
The basketball team was hard at work practicing this weekend, and Calipari used that time to experiment some with different line-ups. Calipari has mentioned a number of times that he will have a lot of different options with this group of players, even some options he has never been accustomed to having in the past. To see Calipari’s entire video with his thoughts and reactions from practice, click here.
Here are some of the highlights:
– The team scrimmaged this morning for over an hour, and Calipari got the chance to do something he’s been waiting to do: line-ups
– “Every time I make a substitution this team is going to be drastically different…from Ryan at point guard to Archie at point guard. Totally different. From Alex at the four, to Kyle at the four. One is a stretch four, one is a pour four. To playing both big guys at a time.” Calipari tried it all today.
– Calipari says they are learning more and more about their team every day.
– Calipari said the staff tried playing Nerlens Noel, Willie Cauley-Stein and Alex Poythress all at the same time. The team gave up 3 offensive rebounds in a short stretch and Calipari said he went “bonkers.” Calipari says he can see them playing the 3 big guys all at once though.
– Calipari liked the combination of Goodwin at the point guard with Julius Mays at the two guard. Called it a “dynamic” line-up.
– Calipari says if the team needs to play catch-up with an “active four,” they can play Poythress.
– Calipari seems very excited about the different combinations and the different looks each can give. He sees the potential for tough match-ups for other teams to have to adjust to during the course of a game.
– Calipari was pleased with the practice and ended by saying, “Foundations are being set and now we move forward.”
Although it’s early, it appears that the strength of this team might be versatility in creating match-up issues for other teams based on how they can change the line-up in so many ways. Calipari has always capitalized on creating match-up nightmares for other teams, whether they be on the offensive end of the defensive end. This team might give him the most options he’s had yet, with 7-8 players with a really diverse skill set they can bring to the game– at a number of different positions as well.