John Calipari hasn’t changed his mind about zone defense, not even after a zone defense helped his team win a big road game at Arkansas four days ago. He did give it a try tonight against Georgia, but it only reaffirmed his longstanding opinion that the zone isn’t the way to go.
After the game, Calipari said, “We went zone. I had Nate in instead of Keion. I wish I would have done it different… we gave them — my man got a three and you know me, ‘Guys, that’s it, no more zone, so don’t even tell me about the zone.’
“I mean, the guy was open, their best shooter,” he said of Georgia’s Anthony Edwards getting a good look against UK’s zone. “You’re in a zone. One guy’s not shooting: him. We gave him the shot. Well, I would rather be man-to-man and have Immanuel hanging on him or Ashton.”
On Monday, Tony Barbee, whose relationship with Calipari goes back to his playing days at UMass, said Cal has always been willing to go zone in “emergency situations.”
I don’t know if we’ll see many more of those situations with this team.