Here’s a line you’ve probably heard before: John Calipari wants to use the dribble drive more this season. I love Cal, but I feel like I’ve heard that ten times since he’s been UK’s coach; however, this time, he swears it’s for real. This morning, Cal told SportsCenter that he plans to take it old school this season and implement the dribble drive using Tyler Ulis, Jamal Murray, and Isaiah Briscoe.
“I still don’t know how this team is gonna play,” Cal said. “For the first time two days ago, I put in all three guards. So we had Jamal, Isaiah, and Tyler in all at the same time. I put in the old school dribble drive and ‘let’s look at it with this group.’ They tell us they’re going to call fouls on drives, like you gotta keep your hands up. This may be a good time to go back to the full monty, when I had Derek Rose and Tyreke and I said ‘here we come.'”
Cal said he showed his players tapes of his Memphis teams using the dribble drive, and they responded to the looser style of play.
“They’re trying to tell me they like this,” Cal said. “I think we can be more random because of Tyler, Jamal, and Isaiah. All three are really good guards.”
As for the big guy in the middle, Calipari said he’s still working on toughening up Skal Labissiere.
“Right now, Kenny Payne says Skal is where Karl Towns was at the beginning of the year. I’m not so sure,” he said. “Skal, we’ve gotta get him to fight. He’s really skilled, we’ve gotta get him in that fight mode, catching every ball. There’s no ball that he doesn’t catch that we throw to him.”
In fact, although Cal said earlier this is one of the nicest groups of guys he’s worked with, they all need to get into “fight mode.”
“Marcus Lee is playing better than I’ve ever seen him play. Charles Matthews is better than people think. We’ve got a group of great guys that want to play for each other. Selfless kind of guys, but you’ve gotta have a will to win, you’ve gotta have a fight.”
One player whose toughness I don’t think we need to question is Tyler Ulis.