The Kentucky basketball team is so deep this year that head coach John Calipari is actually going to use two different “teams” in every game this season and it is going to be a nightmare for the opposition.
This is how it will work according to Andy Katz of ESPN.com.
Calipari will have 12 players that will make up two 5-man “platoons” and two subs. The first 5-man unit will almost exclusively play together. When it comes time to substitute, Calipari will put in the entire second unit.
The last two players will be one big man and one guard who will act as back-ups, presumably if somebody gets hurt or in foul trouble.
Calipari said he may mix up the units in specific situations, especially late in games if he needs better free throw shooters or better defenders in the game, for example.
This is going to create a nightmare for opposing coaches and players as they will essentially have to game plan and prepare for two different teams instead of individual players.
For example, one of the units may play a zone defence and have a better inside game at the offensive end. The other unit may play man-to-man and use more fast breaks and 3-point shots.
It also means Kentucky’s opponents will have to be in better shape as presumably none of the players will play much more than half the game. Calipari also said this will allow his team to play faster and play press defence more.
While it is not unheard of for a team to substitute five players in at once. No team has ever used this strategy over the course of an entire game and an entire season.
Calipari calls it “something never done in college basketball” and the only reason he can do it is because he has so many NBA prospects on his roster.
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