The biggest question of the off-season for Kentucky is how John Calipari will manage to dole out playing time to a roster that includes 9 McDonald’s All-Americans, not to mention Willie Cauley-Stein.
Calipari addressed the question Monday on The Sports Junkies.
Following is what he had to say:
This year coming up, I have to do a totally different job because I have veterans coming back – now, a veteran to us is a sophomore – and I’ve got young guys that are watching now and learning from the veterans, which makes my job easier in one sense, yet finding time – one of the things I may do, guys, is we may play this like a pro franchise in that there are rotations. As a starter, you’re going to get this many minutes, as a backup, you’re getting this many minutes. You’re gonna know when you go in the game, and when you hit March, you narrow it down to eight guys, seven guys you’re playing.
But, throughout the year, you just make sure you’re a big team, you can withstand foul trouble, injuries, anything else that goes wrong, so you play a lot of people, and your whole drive is March, and that’s what I think I’m going to do. Will we press more? We’re going to end up starting two seven footers, and they’ll be backed up by–are your ready?–two seven footers. So, it’ll be a little crazy.
Sounds like Calipari plans to be a bit more methodical with the distribution of minutes early on in the season to get everyone involved, but we’ll probably see another 8-man rotation once it comes tournament time.
Needless to say, there’s going to be some fierce competition going on at Kentucky practices next year.