The format will be two 5-on-5 platoons plus a guard sub and a big man sub, to form a rotation of 12.
"You're working to get in the top 10," said Calipari. "It means we have to play faster and have to press more. Who those two groups will be is going to unfold."
The Wildcats return several players from last season's Final Four team, including twin guards Andrew and Aaron Harrison, junior forwards Willie Cauley-Stein and Alex Poythress and sophomore center Dakari Johnson.
"Now we're trying to do something never done in college basketball. We never expected four of these guys to come back, but they did, so what are we going to do? If we can finish the season doing this then we will," Calipari said.
The Wildcats will face several teams in non-conference play who finished last season in the AP Top 25, including Kansas, UCLA, Louisville and North Carolina. Calipari said that it's OK if some of these games result in losses for his team under the new format, because "I'm going to be learning as these guys are learning.
"My issue is everyone has to be patient," the coach said.
Kentucky finished 29-11 last season and in second place in the SEC conference. They reached the NCAA Final Four as a No. 8 seed before falling to eventual-champion UConn.
- Molly Geary