John Calipari hosted a teleconference today to discuss Kentucky’s five NBA Draft prospects, but his most interesting comments came when he was asked about his current squad. Calipari said he hopes to have all of his players in Lexington “by next week,” which could be a reference to Reid Travis, the Stanford grad transfer set to visit Kentucky tomorrow.
“I think we’re going to be a much different team than we were a year ago, which is why, as we finish this out and we get all these guys in here, probably by next week, we’ll do some team stuff on the court.”
Even without Travis, Calipari likes his team; you could practically hear him drooling while he described how he plans to use all those guards.
“Last year we were short on guards, you guys all know it. Our skill set, we had more turnovers than assists most of the year and that’s just unusual for one of our teams based on the fact that most years, I’m playing three point guards, or three guys you can consider point guards. Last year, a lot of times, we had one on the court. We were a better built team when we had two, but we weren’t as dominating when we had two.
“This year, you’ve got with Quade [Green], with Immanuel [Quickley], with Ashton [Hagans], you have three legitimate point guards but being able to handle the ball, Keldon Johnson, he can be a point [guard]. He can be that big guard who starts your offense because of how he plays. You’re also skilled with Jemarl [Baker], you’re also skilled with Tyler [Herro].
“And the other thing, I’m hoping we’ll be more of a three-point shooting team than we have in the past. where it’s a true weapon, we can shoot it in transition, we can shoot it off ball screens. We just weren’t able to [last year]. Someone said we should have shot more threes, we probably would have missed more threes then. It just wasn’t what our strength was. I think we’re also going to have some up front guys who can play like guards.”