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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: The Platoon of 2015 Probably Wouldn’t Work in 2019

I’ve already floated it out there and I know I’ve seen it all over social media since yesterday’s commitment from Ashton Hagans: PLATOON.  Everybody remembers the joy we experienced in 2014-15 when Calipari implemented a 2-team system, subbing 5 for 5 throughout the game.  I think people may forget though, that experiment actually only lasted 10 games before Alex Poythress went down with injury.  With the platoon, UK was 10-0.  Without the platoon, they were 28-1.  So it really didn’t matter that season what kind of system Cal employed.

For next season, only time will tell how a platoon system would look and work out.  But when I look at the 2 rosters as they stand now, I see a noticeable difference:

2014-15
Guards (4): Aaron Harrison, Andrew Harrison, Tyler Ulis, Devin Booker
Forwards (4): Alex Poythress, Trey Lyles, Karl Towns, Marcus Lee
Center (2): Dakari Johnson, Willie Cauley-Stein,

2018-19 (assuming Diallo and Gabriel leave)
Guards (6): Quade Green, Ashton Hagans, Tyler Herro, Keldon Johnson, Immanuel Quickley, Jemarl Baker
Forwards (3): PJ Washington, Jared Vanderbilt, EJ Montgomery
Centers (1): Nick Richards

The 2014-15 team had a nice balance of guards, forwards, and centers.  The 2018-19 roster has 6 guards in it’s Top 10 right now.  And that would lead me to concerns about if there is enough time for guards to get their hands on it enough.  We will see what roles the incoming guards will form for themselves, but guards tend to “need” the ball in their hands more than the big guys.  And I wonder if there is enough ball to go around.  Johnson and Hagans are supposed to be stars so you would imagine they will want the ball a bunch.  Will a sophomore Quade Green want more of the action?  What about an eager freshman like Herro.

I would much rather have too much talent at the guard spot than too little.  I will take what Calipari has built for next year over almost any roster in the country.  But I do think the concern will be spreading the wealth next year.  You will have ALOT of guys on roster looking to prove themselves for various reasons.  If any kind of platoon system is created that will certainly not increase a guy’s minutes.  At least not the star players.  The 2015 team accepted those roles for the first 10 games.

I think odds are very high we won’t see this team go to a platoon.  Calipari has hinted as much that he won’t do it again.  But the roster is deep enough to give it another try and it will be interesting to see if certain lineups mesh better than others with the amount of guards currently on roster.

Article written by Bryan the Intern

13 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: The Platoon of 2015 Probably Wouldn’t Work in 2019



  1. chuckmarzjr
    10:07 am April 11, 2018 Permalink

    It would work great though. Here is the lineup I think Calipari will use regardless. He’ll just not sub in all 5 at the same time.

    1st team
    PG – Hagans
    OffG – Quickly
    SF – K. Johnson
    PF – Vanderbilt
    PF/C – PJ Washington

    2nd team
    PG – Green
    SG – Baker
    G/SF – Hero
    PF – Gabriel
    PF/C – Montgomery/Richards

    The first team has the speed size and typical Calipari team. The 2nd unit is full of shooters who can light it up.

  2. If a “platoon” won’t work, what other way is there to spread the wealth?



  3. KYjellyRoll
    10:39 am April 11, 2018 Permalink

    Doesn’t matter, game to game, play whoever is playing good



  4. Smyrna_Cat
    10:45 am April 11, 2018 Permalink

    I thought we played “position-less” basketball?



  5. BBN_strive_4_9
    11:01 am April 11, 2018 Permalink

    We could definitely platoon, this would be my lineup.

    Platoon 1:
    G. Ashton Hagans
    G. Quade Green
    G. Keldon Johnson
    F. Jarred Vanderbilt
    F. PJ Washington

    Platoon 2:
    G. Imannual Quickly
    G. Jermal Baker
    G. Tyler Herro
    F. E.J. Montgomery
    F. Nick Richards

    Those lineups would spread the experience and talent around evenly.



  6. FlatTopsAndBlockedShots
    11:07 am April 11, 2018 Permalink

    Most college teams tend to use 3 guard line ups. Having two 3 guard line ups would just mean UK would be a high ball movement team when in the halfcourt but would be a very threatening fastbreak team, especially with guys as active as Johnson, Vando, and Hagans.



  7. luke_emberton
    11:17 am April 11, 2018 Permalink

    1st team
    PG Hagans
    SG Quickly
    SF Johnson
    PF Vando
    C PJ
    2nd Team
    PG Green
    SG Baker
    SF Herro
    PF Montgomery
    C Richards

    Explain to me how that wouldn’t work?



  8. FroggyFrog
    12:17 pm April 11, 2018 Permalink

    I may be in the minority here but I have a hard time seeing a starting lineup that doesn’t include EJ Montgomery… he’s so damn versatile. He’ll likely be our best pick-and-roll defender because of his ability to guard multiple positions, and his length and bounce might make him our best rim protector.



  9. WatchutalkinboutWillis
    12:48 pm April 11, 2018 Permalink

    I think they should platoon in the Bahamas at the very least. But why are Gabriel and even Diallo being written off so quickly? I would be surprised if Diallo returned but not shocked, and I expect Gabriel to be back and would be surprised if he left. Also, Hagans said he is 50/50 on reclassifying. All that said, a platoon system would be incredible with this team. More than the previous time imo. Our weakness previously was the SF position and a huge talent disparity between say Towns and WCS vs Lee for instance. The talent is much more balanced on this team and would make very interesting platoons!



  10. CatBlue in LR
    7:27 pm April 11, 2018 Permalink

    BTI, I like your research, enjoy your insights, but “ALOT” is not a word. Not a single word, at least. It’s two words.