UK's offense features a balanced attack

John Calipari has said that he has six starters on this year's team. The statistics indicate that his statement is very accurate, as all six of those players are averaging double-digits in scoring this season.

In most instances coaches can design a game plan to stop one or two players in order to optimize their team's chances of winning.

When coaches look at John Calipari's Kentucky Wildcats how do you plan to defeat them by stopping just one or two players?

Calipari's six "starters" are all averaging between 10.5 and 15.8 points per outing on the season. Any of the six are capable of having huge offensive nights.

The six are Doron Lamb, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Terrence Jones, Anthony Davis, Marquis Teague and Darius Miller.

Among those six half have yet to have a 20 point game; which is an indicator that they are fairly consistent.

Not on that list is the freshman to have the highest scoring game thus far this season, Kyle Wiltjer. Wiltjer scored 24 points against Loyola (Md), setting a scoring high for a Kentucky freshman for the 2011-2012 season; odds are that it won't be the highest scoring game for a freshman by season's end.

Wiltjer is averaging 7.4 points per game, and has the potential to reach the double-digit average by season's end should he continue to develop. Wiltjer is capable of getting his points in short periods of time. In the Loyola game his 24 points came in 25 minutes of play. On Wednesday against Lamar Wiltjer scored his 7 points in just 11 minutes of play.

Wiltjer is a deadly three-point shooter, and he has plenty of range on his jumper. He is 35% from behind the arc on the season but this is skewed by a 2 for 7 start this season. Since that point he has hit over 40% of his threes. Wiltjer can also put on display a variety of moves in the post, and is one of the few players to use the hook shot in today's collegiate game. He is also shooting 86% from the charity stripe. He definitely knows how to put the ball in the basket.

Kentucky's squad is very deceptive with its scoring. Davis can barely break double figures, but will do it in such a spectacular manner that it allows some other players to get their points without notice.

With the high flying dunks of Davis on display a player like Lamb can achieve his average by not being spectacular, but with consistency and variety. He hits a few threes, gets some fastbreak baskets, hits a midrange jumper or two, hits a few free throws and suddenly has 16 points. I like to think of him as Kentucky's silent assassin. He's the guy that can have a huge scoring night and do a lot of damage very quietly.

Things may only get tougher for UK opponents.

Darius Miller started the season in a slump, he wasn't looking for his shot, and the release on his jumper was off. Miller is now rounding into form, and has four consecutive double figure games. He is shooting the ball with confidence, and is a tough matchup for opponents. He can take the three, drive and pull up for the midrange jumper, or post an opponent up. He often slides to the guard spot when Teague or Lamb get a rest, and plays either forward spot.

Calipari is pushing his players to give more effort on both ends of the floor. After the Lamar game he relayed an in-game exchange with one of his players.

Calipari said, "We had a guy that said, 'I couldn't get open.' 'Good, you're out. and I'll play somebody else. How about that. Your job is to get open.' 'Well, I couldn't.' 'Okay. Then you won't play. How about that.'"

Cal is one of the few coaches to have the offensive weapons at his disposal to pull a player for not working hard enough to get open for shots.

At present many of these young players are relying on skill to get their points, and to rack up wins. Ten weeks down the road they will know the system better, know each other better, and will be scoring more efficiently.


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