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Which UK Team is Cal’s Deepest?

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This year’s UK squad has been referred to by some as the deepest in John Calipari’s time at Kentucky. Their opinion might be justified; can you really argue with a team that features six incoming All Americans and two returning players who would have been drafted the previous year? I decided to look at some numbers and see how this year’s depth compares to Calipari’s other UK teams. Because depth usually refers to the quality of a team’s bench, the numbers focus on how much the bench played and how much they produced relative to the entire team. I also included the amount of NBA players on each squad to get a feel of the teams’ talent levels. Below is the breakdown.

2009-2010
Bench Percentage of Minutes:      33%
Bench Percentage of Scoring:       20%
Bench Percentage of Assists:         16%
Bench Percentage of Rebounds:  28%
Potential/Current NBA Players on roster: 8

2010-2011
Bench Percentage of Minutes:    21%
Bench Percentage of Scoring:     20%
Bench Percentage of Assists:       15%
Bench Percentage of Rebounds: 13%
Potential/Current NBA Players on roster: 6

2011-2012
Bench Percentage of Minutes:    23%
Bench Percentage of Scoring:     20%
Bench Percentage of Assists:       20%
Bench Percentage of Rebounds: 16%
Potential/Current NBA Players on roster: 6-7

2012-2013
Bench Percentage of Minutes:     31%
Bench Percentage of Scoring:      30%
Bench Percentage of Assists:        26%
Bench Percentage of Rebounds: 30%
Potential/Current NBA Players on roster: 4-5

2013-2014
Bench Percentage of Minutes:        27%
Bench Percentage of Scoring:        20%
Bench Percentage of Assists:          18%
Bench Percentage of Rebounds:    27%
Potential/Current NBA Players on roster: 7-9

The results aren’t incredibly surprising. Based on the numbers, it’s a toss-up between this year’s team and the 2009-10 squad. The talent levels are similar, and both teams feature a bench that is getting a large share of the minutes. Personally, I think our current squad can be labeled deeper because they are more productive (as far as points, rebounds, and assists go) in fewer minutes. While last year’s bench was the most productive, they were the least talented as shown by the lack of NBA players (if you can call 4-5 lacking). 

Disclaimers:

*To determine the bench statistics, I held the starters constant through the season. Therefore, the numbers aren’t 100% accurate but they should be really close. Getting them completely correct would take more free time than I currently have.

**The NBA stat is also troublesome. Predicting who will reach the NBA is inherently difficult and a bit unfair to the current players. But I feel it’s one of the best measures of depth for the talented rosters Calipari has assembled at UK, so I chose to include it. 

Article written by Caleb Epley

Vanderbilt student, Kentucky fan. Skilled at using big words and telling bad jokes. Twitter: @CalebEpleyKSR

14 Comments for Which UK Team is Cal’s Deepest?



  1. tom5673
    9:41 am January 27, 2014 Permalink

    my God…how did that team lose? 4-32 from the 3 point line aside…



  2. just sayin
    10:01 am January 27, 2014 Permalink

    you might want to include team record because other than minutes played last years team leads every stat.



    • raccoon
      10:56 am January 27, 2014 Permalink

      Yeah, this was overall a pretty dumb post. Not a bad idea, but the execution is a D-. BTI said he held starters constant for the whole season, so all of the games WCS started after Noel got hurt skewed the numbers. And Wiltjer came off the bench and got a lot of points.



  3. BB
    10:17 am January 27, 2014 Permalink

    Hard to look at that pic knowing they didnt win a NC. That is definitely one that got away!



  4. raccoon
    10:59 am January 27, 2014 Permalink

    Cal’s actual deepest team was 2011-12 as it had 6 guys who could take over a game at a given time plus Wiltjer to spot up for threes (what he was actually good at). The National Player of the Year took the fifth most shots from what I heard. Depth isn’t just in the bench. Like last year, we only had one scorer on the team in Archie. At that point, who cares what percentage of points are coming from the bench.



  5. KevinM
    11:01 am January 27, 2014 Permalink

    MIA: Daniel Orton…….still looking for his potential to start showing.

    That Wall team was not a 3 pt shooting team, and it showed, and WVU took total advantage.



    • KevinM
      11:03 am January 27, 2014 Permalink

      Oh, and they shot 16-29 from the FT line.



  6. David M
    11:38 am January 27, 2014 Permalink

    When I look at that picture….all I see is poor Daniel Orton. What a squandered talent. He could have been great if he had only stayed a couple more years. Poster child for stay one more year.



    • PhilUK18
      12:45 pm January 27, 2014 Permalink

      Agreed. I’ll add Teague to that too. With him running the point last season instead of Harrow, I think that team could have made some noise in the tournament.



    • haha
      4:34 pm January 27, 2014 Permalink

      This is a really dumb misconception. Coming back would have not miraculously made him have NBA talent. He always had fringe NBA talent…same with Teague. Would he have gotten better for college, sure, but don’t fool yourself. That’s just an ignorant comment



  7. Execution - terrible
    12:06 pm January 27, 2014 Permalink

    Last year’s team saw more bench production than either of the teams you mentioned in nearly every category….wow….how on Earth do you guys get these things published.



    • shifty
      1:20 pm January 27, 2014 Permalink

      last years team had so much bench production because the starters sucked. i thought it was pretty insightful. i think the 2011-12 team deserves more credit though. the top 7 on that roster were better than the rest of the teams.



  8. Mc
    1:32 pm January 27, 2014 Permalink

    I don’t care about how many potential NBA players there are honestly. Let’s sorry about winning the SEC before everyone gets to excited. We beat Georgia without its best player. Lets try Florida and Missouri first. Maybe all these so called NBA players can win the SEC before they worry about Boston and LA or the D League



    • haha
      4:41 pm January 27, 2014 Permalink

      sweet comment bro