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Why Playing Willis and Skal More Makes Sense

UK Athletics

UK Athletics

UK Athletics

I’m all for getting creative with lineups, especially if it means there’s an advantage for Kentucky. As I always say in these types of posts, just a reminder I am not claiming to be smarter than John Calipari – a Hall of Fame coach. I am simply throwing an idea out there based on what I’ve seen.

This is how it makes sense to get more playing time for Skal alongside Derek Willis. What’s the big advantage here a lot of people might ask? Kentucky can run an offense with a wide open lane, which bodes well for the likes of Isaiah Briscoe and Tyler Ulis. With this type of lineup you can extend Willis out to the wing and have Skal run in the high post or set high ball screens. With the open lane it gives people like Briscoe and Ulis, who are crafty ball handlers the chance to get past their defender for an easy layup or a drive and kick to a shooter.

It’s easy to say this can be done now. But, if Willis continues to rebound the way he is, you don’t lose as much on the defensive glass.

Article written by Bobby Reagan

One time representative of UK at SEC 3v3 basketball championships. Northern Yankee living the Kentucky dream. Follow me @uklefty22

19 Comments for Why Playing Willis and Skal More Makes Sense

  1. bballdoc
    10:17 pm January 28, 2016 Permalink

    But can Skal screen worth a darn? Or roll to the basket and catch a feed?

    • kjd
      10:37 pm January 28, 2016 Permalink

      Roll and catch? No he cannot.
      Skal doesn’t play more until he defends and rebounds.

    • UK Big Board Update
      10:41 pm January 28, 2016 Permalink

      Poor Skal…. If only you were white and from Kentucky, everyone would love you…

    • Bluecreeker
      4:14 pm January 29, 2016 Permalink

      @UK Big Board Update – Derek Willis has;
      the best 3 point shooting average on the team
      The highest offensive efficiency rating on the team
      Hasn’t missed a free throw in 2 years…………
      Now that he is playing in his natural position he is killing it on both ends of the floor
      If poor old Skal owned any of these stats BBN might love him. I don’t dislike him but I find your comment stupid and offensive.

  2. bballdoc
    10:54 pm January 28, 2016 Permalink

    Skal suffers from being over-hyped by scouts and coaches, including Cal, who somehow thought he was at least a year farther along than he really is. Not his fault. Race and birthplace play only a very minor role in the fans’ disappointment.

    • UK Big Board Update
      7:21 am January 29, 2016 Permalink

      Race and birthplace shouldn’t play a role at all. Smh

    • chimichanga
      11:37 am January 29, 2016 Permalink

      I had such high hopes for Haiti.

  3. Dustin Rumbaugh
    11:26 pm January 28, 2016 Permalink

    Reasons this can’t work (not knocking your view point…just pointing out why Cal doesn’t do this): Who guards the low post player for the other team on D? Skal whiffs on picks constantly so that part of your offense you described won’t work. If all 5 players are standing around the arc it makes for very difficult shots. The defense isn’t just automatically going to man up with you around the arc. What you’re thinking of is like the dribble drive except the dribble drive works because of big men like Davis or Cousins that keep defenses honest while they play the weak side rebound/flash to the elbow for a post role. There’s no such thing as an efficient spread offense in basketball that works against good teams. If you run this offense…I’m playing an extended zone and you’re done. On offense were beating you up either off the dribble by extending Skal and Derek in one on one situations or pounding it into the post and fouling Skal out. There’s tons of reasons Cal doesn’t do this.

  4. mobile2
    11:29 pm January 28, 2016 Permalink

    You KSR-ers fail to grasp what Cal plainly sees: he can’t play Skal because Skal does not deserve to be on the court. He’s a massive defensive liability and he CANNOT rebound.

    Soon enough Skal will be the NBA’s problem and his handlers still won’t be as rich as they’d hoped. His whole sordid affair is a classic case of AAU/recruiting hype machine hyperbole /exploitation.

    The kid cannot contribute to this team this year yet he’ll still get drafted and soon enough be circling the backwaters of the D League when he should be developing at a normal pace in college.

    • UK Big Board Update
      7:18 am January 29, 2016 Permalink

      Again, you seem to be happy about it.

      You’re kind of a piece of shit.

  5. kjd
    7:57 am January 29, 2016 Permalink

    Real nice Big Board, great comment. Not!
    By the way, because I have been critical of Skal does not make me a racist.

    • UK Big Board Update
      9:26 am January 29, 2016 Permalink

      I remember when you were critical of Willis…. NOT!!

  6. bballdoc
    8:49 am January 29, 2016 Permalink

    UK Big Board Update, you seem to be trying to pick a fight. Why don’t you try instead to write a post that contributes ideas and back it up?

    • UK Big Board Update
      9:28 am January 29, 2016 Permalink

      I mean, it’s blatantly obvious, but if you need me to spell it out for you:

      Skal doesn’t get the same kind of pass that boys from Kentucky get. Willis hadn’t contributed zilch in the two years prior, but everyone was rooting for him. Skal has had a difficult season, and folks around here are ready for him to be gone.

    • Bluecreeker
      4:21 pm January 29, 2016 Permalink

      @Big Board – Hmmm. Well maybe you don’t see what other see. As I said, even before Cal started giving Willis minutes he had the best 3pt shooting percentage on the team as well as the best offensive efficiency. He was also getting hooked for every mistake he made while others did not. When we have UCLA packing the paint and beating us due to freshman guard shooting 2 for 16….you have an issue. Everybody knew what Willis could bring (other than you) and now that he’s being played in the 4 spot (instead of 3 where he didn’t belong) the whole team has been transformed. Oh by the way……Skal has played more minute than Willis and is averaging more minutes than Willis. Willis was a 3 start recruit Sir. And yes….you are an asshole.

  7. BbnGroveStreet
    1:26 pm January 29, 2016 Permalink

    You all get on my nerves so bad, giving up on Skal…he can be a player eventually. I think all of you all have forgotten the late Tubby years, and Gillespie era..if I was Skal I would leave. As a fan youre not supposed to put a player down…you are suppose to defend the players on your team. Makes me sick for this kid the way you ass hikes treat him.

    • BbnGroveStreet
      1:27 pm January 29, 2016 Permalink


    • Bluecreeker
      4:22 pm January 29, 2016 Permalink

      Skal will be fine now that Cal isn’t trying to make him a post up 5. This is not how the kid plays…………

      Tubby used to play kids out of position and I hated it.

    • Bluecreeker
      4:23 pm January 29, 2016 Permalink

      I agree, many supposed BBN have trashed this kid as if all of them don’t live on Social Media. It has been disgraceful…..the same crowd has trashed Willis as well.