If you’ve seen John Calipari’s basketball team this season, and I assume you have, you know he has a ton of height on his roster. In fact, the 2014-15 Wildcats are taller than any other team in college basketball, possibly ever. But you knew that already. So let’s take it further.
After adding up the height of all 30 current NBA starting fives, not one team is taller than the first rotation Cal used Sunday night. That lineup featured Andrew and Aaron Harrison (6’6), Alex Poythress (6’8), Karl Towns (6’11), and Willie Cauley-Stein (7’0) for a total of 403 inches. Only two teams in the league can match that number, while the rest of the NBA came up short.
OKLAHOMA CITY currently starts Reggie Jackson (6’3), Andre Roberson (6’7), Perry Jones (6’11), Serge Ibaka (6’10) and Steven Adams (7’0). When Kevin Durant returns, the Thunder lose an inch to drop to 402. Russell Westbrook and Reggie Jackson are the same height.
ORLANDO starts Elfrid Payton (6’4), Evan Fournier (6’7), Tobias Harris (6’9), Channing Frye (6’11), and Nikola Vucevic (7’0).
Check out the entire NBA below:
Of course, if Cal were to start Trey Lyles at the three over Alex Poythress, it would add another two inches to Kentucky’s starting five height and reach record-breaking numbers. According to a very unofficial message board thread on InsideHoops.com, no regular starting lineup in the history of the NBA has gone taller than 405 inches, which is what UK would be with Lyles. The 1995 Washington Bullets needed 7’7 Gheorghe Muresan to reach 405 inches, along with Juwan Howard, Chris Webber, Calbert Chaney and Skott Skiles. The 2007 Houston Rockets also hit 405 with Rafer Alston, Tracy McGrady, Shane Battier, Luis Scola and Yao Ming.
So next time an opposing coach or an announcer mentions dealing with Kentucky’s length, just know the entire game of basketball hasn’t seen many lineups like it. Like, ever.