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Numbers don’t lie: Calipari says offensive lineup grades out among best in the nation

John Calipari has found an offensive lineup he likes, one he says will get more playing time as a group moving forward.

After tweaking Kentucky’s starting lineup and rotations through the team’s first 12 games of season, one lineup has stood out from the rest, one Calipari says grades out among the best in college basketball.

And while he didn’t reveal which players were included in that group, he did single out redshirt freshman guard Dontaie Allen as someone who “has made us different.”

“I’ll say this, Dontaie has made us different,” Calipari said during his call-in radio show Monday evening. “When you do the numbers, there’s a group that’s in there that, our numbers are as good as anybody in the country offensively. Guess what? Those guys are going to have to play more together. Instead of playing 10 minutes, maybe that group’s got to play 20 minutes together?

“There’s things we’ve got to figure out, but please understand that I’ve got to keep all these guys in a place that they believe in themselves, they believe in each other, they know I believe in them, but it’s not communism. We’re all competing. If you have to take a step back so someone else can take a step forward…”

The UK head coach said he’s dealt with adversity and rough starts during his time in Lexington, adding that he told the story of his 2013-14 group to his team on Monday, highlighting the team’s early struggles and unexpected run to the NCAA title game that year.

Once this team starts playing for other players rather than themselves, they could see a similar redemption story.

“Over the years, I’ve tweaked everything,” Calipari said. “I told the guys the story today, in 2014, it took us till February to figure out what we had to do. We were 8-8 in our league at one point. That team got it together. There are a lot of people out there are hoping we can’t pull it together, but I think we can. I really do. We’re still not making the game easy for each other, especially on offense.

“Everyone’s trying to get theirs, taking an extra bounce. Everyone is in there – except Lance Ware – to create shots for other guys. We’re talking about it, working on it, showing them tape. When you’re defending the way we’re defending, our record should be flipped. It’s not one guy, it’s a team full of guys.”

Any guesses on who may be included in that go-to lineup?

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

22 Comments for Numbers don’t lie: Calipari says offensive lineup grades out among best in the nation

  1. GravesCntyKid
    9:11 pm January 18, 2021 Permalink

    If this means Cal has been listening to Bruiser, maybe there’s hope!

  2. ukkatzfan
    9:19 pm January 18, 2021 Permalink

    Has he ever considered playing that lineup ?

    • ukkatzfan
      9:28 pm January 18, 2021 Permalink

      But whatever he does, I sure hope that he don’t take their heart. If he does, he could become known as Zombie Cal. (Start zombie cal dance to music) Don’t take their heart, their achy breaky heart. Cause i don’t think that they need a game plan. And if you take their heart, their achy breaky heart. They might just end up with a win.

  3. WatchutalkinboutWillis
    9:25 pm January 18, 2021 Permalink

    Mintz, Allen, Ware, Toppin, Sarr is what I hope it is but I would take Askew in for Ware if necessary.

    • GM1978
      9:41 pm January 18, 2021 Permalink

      I like Askew with that group…..Brooks & Jackson leading the charge for first subs

    • Lee Durham Stone
      11:09 pm January 18, 2021 Permalink

      I think the first five will be Askew, Mintz, Allen, Ware, and Toppin. Sarr and Brooks and Jackson will still get major minutes (maybe in that order).

      Not sure how Boston figures in playing time. If he does better as a sub than he has shown so far, then he may have a valid supporting role.

  4. GM1978
    9:39 pm January 18, 2021 Permalink

    Glad to hear this…..we all had to know losing two months of practice time would severely hamper this team of new players (not to mention Brooks injury being enormous)

    The “click” with majority of Cal’s team has been late Dec/Jan year after year. Just happens to take longer sometimes

  5. just a guy
    9:47 pm January 18, 2021 Permalink

    I pray this isn’t more coach speak and he benches Boston. I think the players see his selfish play, yet still getting all the minutes, and it causes discontent. Bench his ass and let the rest of the guys know their heart matters just as much

    • itsfootballtimeinthebluegrass
      9:58 pm January 18, 2021 Permalink

      Boston should’ve benched a month ago

    • millertim
      9:23 am January 19, 2021 Permalink

      Yep… if Boston starts tonight then Coach Cal has lost all credibility with this team! Boston is a huge liability on the court… time to break his “little heart” like he did with Fletcher, Toppins, and Allen all year— of course they weren’t 5 star, A level, lottery recruits… lmao!!!

  6. itsfootballtimeinthebluegrass
    9:57 pm January 18, 2021 Permalink

    Mintz, Askew, Allen, Jackson, Toppin.

  7. dandycat
    9:59 pm January 18, 2021 Permalink

    In hoping for Askew, Allen, Toppin, Brooks, Ware with Mintz, Boston, Clark, Jackson and Sarr coming off the Bench…4 min shifts and whichever 5 are successful r the ones that r playing at the end…

    • Aar
      10:24 pm January 18, 2021 Permalink

      I completely agree with your primary five. My bench rotation would be Mintz, Sarr and Jackson. Passing effectively (i.e. often and accurately) would be my offensive coaching emphasis

  8. bosch8184
    10:07 pm January 18, 2021 Permalink

    Great news coach, we’ll be kicking ass in the NIT then.

  9. stx1968
    10:55 pm January 18, 2021 Permalink

    Coach, if you read this I want you to know I’m OK with BJ losing confidence. He has too much for his own good right now.

  10. Glam Girl
    11:22 pm January 18, 2021 Permalink

    And Cal says he doesn’t pay attention to what fans have to say….he’s saying what a lot of people have been saying for a while now. It’s like a lightbulb has gone off and he’s finally figured it out all by himself ?

  11. AmazzzingLarry
    2:33 am January 19, 2021 Permalink

    Really missing Kenny Payne right now

  12. CahillsCrossingNT
    5:45 am January 19, 2021 Permalink

    This program is a train wreck no matter who starts. It’s because if its coach. He is the skipper of this listing ship.

  13. jakew60
    7:16 am January 19, 2021 Permalink

    I think it will be toppin, Allen, askew, sarr and ware

  14. Trinity45
    8:09 am January 19, 2021 Permalink

    I will take a wait and see attitude, Cal speak has become mostly crap. I want to see the line up and I want to see the minutes played.

    • yoshukai
      11:51 am January 19, 2021 Permalink

      Cal speak has ALWAYS been been 95% crap . But now he’s become crazy .

  15. BlueGrassBrass
    2:10 pm January 19, 2021 Permalink

    I only read the comments to laugh.