Going into the game, the eyes of the college basketball Twitter nation (quite a nation), as well as the Big Blue Nation, were on John Calipari–would he stick with the platoons with only one day of prep without Alex Poythress? And who would fill that void? Many rightly assumed that Trey Lyles would step into the blue platoon, at least in the beginning, but after that would we see a full white platoon including a guy who stepped in against Columbia, Derek Willis?
Well folks, today we saw no Willis at all. But did we still truly ‘platoon?’ This is weighing heavily on me. WAS THIS A PLATOON OR NOT?
According to Cal, it was. A platoon of 9. OK!
I platooned today with 9 guys. My plan was to give Derek (Willis) an opportunity to slide in and the game went the way it went and I just kept going the way we went, so he didn’t get that chance. But I thought that, again, he’s going to be fine.
My plan was to do what we did and then try to get Derek in on that third wave, because I think Derek has to be in with that veteran team to give him a true chance.
Q. ‘The substitution patterns today, not using Derek and all of that, is that a matter of survive today, and then spend the next two weeks figuring out how the subs and the platoons might work?’
“No, I mean you had one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight guys played 20 minutes and Marcus Lee played 12 and got eight points in 12 minutes. And the reason he played 12 is because Willie Cauley played 28. And Willie Cauley was really, he was “Willie good” today.”
So the flow of the game+Willie’s performance was responsible for the substitution strategy we saw today in Rupp, but will be returning to a ten-man platoon at any point this season? The suspense is killing me (and Derek).