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Calipari hints at small ball lineup following Nate Sestina’s injury

Now that Nate Sestina is out with a fractured left wrist, John Calipari is preparing to move to small ball. At his press conference this afternoon, Calipari gave more details on the timeline for Sestina’s return and talked about how the Cats will cope without him.

“It’s unfortunate but it’s part of what we do. He just fell. It’s his left wrist, it’s not his right. He may be out three weeks, he may be out four. I’m hoping the shorter but I’m not going to rush him. They even said maybe two and I’m like, ‘Stop.'”

In this morning’s practice, Calipari said the team experimented with small ball, using Ashton Hagans, Tyrese Maxey, Immanuel Quickley, Kahlil Whitney, and either EJ Montgomery or Nick Richards inside.

“I played a small lineup today. The small lineup being guards and Kahlil [Whitney] and one big. It didn’t look bad.”

Why Whitney instead of Keion Brooks?

“I want to try [Whitney] and I’ll tell you why. He’s more physical and if we’re playing another team that has a 6’6″ physical guy, I think Kahlil can play him better and I’m not sure there’s any fours that can guard him. Here’s what I say: Kahlil the last game, he was one for seven but five of those shots he took were absolutely straight. The other two were near the basket. The other five he missed, bu they were straight. You guys know how I am about that stuff. My prediction will be, if not this game then the next game, he will go like 8-8 because he’ll make the first. He shoots them straight all the time. There’s no variation. He’s just not making them right now.”

In some much-needed good news on the injury front, Calipari said that Dontaie Allen participated in practice today.

“Dontaie played a little halfcourt today,” Calipari said of the freshman, who is looking to return from ACL and collarbone injuries. “He moved great, but he played some halfcourt.”

Thank goodness.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

3 Comments for Calipari hints at small ball lineup following Nate Sestina’s injury

  1. kyle heavy
    1:32 pm November 27, 2019 Permalink

    Am I the only one who thinks the offense goes completely stagnant when Whitney is in the game?

    • IrishCat
      1:48 pm November 27, 2019 Permalink

      I agree to an extent. Cal seems to see in him what most of us see in Keion. They’re both going to have ample opportunity to earn big minutes.

  2. TonyMontana
    2:46 pm November 27, 2019 Permalink

    I dont know if it’s play calling or not letting guys do what they can do… but it frustrates me when our guys leave to the NBA and they just turn into scoring machines in the pros whereas they struggle here. Am I crazy, or has anybody else noticed this?