VAUGHT: Calipari on team drills, youth

With Patrick Patterson, DeMarcus Cousins and Daniel Orton, Kentucky was able to overpower numerous teams last year. This season coach John Calipari may find himself using a four-guard lineup.

"If you are playing Darius (Miller) at the four (power forward) and even if he and Terrence Jones are on the court together, that is four guards. You want guys with size who can play like guards and that is what we will have," Calipari said. "It is basically where do you put them on the court to make them most effective. The bigger, the better. The longer, the better. We can teach them the skills to play the spots they will be.

"We are trying to figure out ways to do that. We can play with all guards, all forwards. It doesn't matter. You take who you have and play. You develop skills. Like Patrick Patterson. We had to develop him out on the floor because he had not played out there. Eric Bledsoe couldn't bounce it left-handed. John Wall was out of control and wanted everything to go right. You have to develop things in them. People say, ‘He just rolls out the balls and says dribble-drive.' We teach them. If you are playing against us or recruiting against us, what are you going to say when you get beat? You will just say anything. But we develop players, and we will this year."

Calipari notes how freshman guard Doron Lamb played in his first exhibition game in Canada.

"Doron Lamb the first game was so bad. It was great. He didn't warm up the right way and you were able to sit him down and say, ‘Now do you understand what we were talking about with warming up.' It is a game he will take and keep the rest of his life," Calipari said. "The next game he came out with a fire and was ready to play the game and he did it."

Calipari also saw signs in Canada that Miller will be able to handle the move from role player to star player this year.

"He played better up there (in Canada). They all have to play into that," the Kentucky coach said. "Everything we do in practice is scored so every team wins one drill. I do that to see who wants to make a winning basket.

"John Wall never made a big-time basket in high school or AAU. Here he made one the first game and many after that. That is what we teach. Last year the guys trying to make game-winners were John, Eric and DeMarcus. Now this year who is going to make those plays."

Calipari has had two freshman-dominated teams at Kentucky. With a potential No. 1 recruiting class already secured for 2011, he says UK will always likely have a young team as long as talented players are not able to go straight from high school to the NBA without playing one year of college basketball.

"If the rules don't change and we have to play by these rules (we will have young teams)," Calipari said. "If you do a good job in judging who you are bringing in and then develop them, after a year it's hard for me to try and argue with a kid and tell him he needs to stay. So I can't tell you that (about having a veteran team). There are guys on my team now people are saying are one-and-done. What if they are not?

"You better manage your roster, which I think we have done a good job of. If you have a good idea (about who might leave) and try to fit it in, there are all kinds of things that can happen."

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