In an essay reflecting on the past season, Calipari said he is proud of the seven Kentucky players who declared for the NBA draft in 2015 and is looking forward to 2015-16, when he won't use a platoon like the one he employed last season.
I’m also excited about who we have coming back and who we have joining us next season. I think how you will see us playing going forward will be closer to how we have always played. That won’t be platooning.
In all my coaching career, I’ve always played six, seven or eight guys. As a matter of fact, at UMass in 1996 I played five – the sixth man played single-digit minutes. My guards played 39 minutes a game. I’ve done this all kinds of ways, playing as many as eight or nine guys, which I thought was a bit much, but never have I ever tried to play 10 until this year.
The coach goes on to explain that the Wildcats were overloaded once, Alex Poythress, Willie Cauley-Stein and the Harrison Twins decided to return to school last year, necessitating a wide distribution of minutes.
The only way I could figure out for all of them to eat was to platoon. I didn’t feel comfortable trying to sub 10 guys in and out. I thought it would hurt every player if I did that. I needed a way for every player to help themselves, their team and their teammates.
As it has always been in my career, I played the best players the most each game, and the best scorers shot the most.
Poythress and Tyler Ulis will return for the Wildcats next season, joined by the second-best recruiting class in the country, according to 247's composite rankings.
Kentucky finished the 2014-15 season 38-1, losing to Wisconsin in the Final Four.
- Alex Putterman