Kentucky Wildcats "Pro Day" Combine Notes

Kentucky opened the Craft Center to more than 90 NBA executives and scouts on Friday for an unprecedented "Pro Day" combine that was televised live by ESPNU.

During the two-hour program, the Wildcats went through agility drills, shooting drills, 3-on-3 play and an extended 5-on-5 scrimmage segment, giving the scouts -- and perhaps more notably, recruits -- a strong look at the team expected to open the college basketball season with the No. 1 ranking.

Kentucky head coach John Calipari joined the ESPNU broadcast crew, which included Jay Bilas, Seth Greenberg and Avery Johnson, for a five-minute interview session that touched on topics like:

On how he got the idea for a preseason combine...

"There's two points to this. One, all 30 of these teams would have been here the first week (of practice) anyway, so now we can control it, and I can get back to working with my team... I've been talking of combines for years. I did one in 2011 post-season, and it got outlawed. (Laughs) This will probably get outlawed, too, so all you coaches who think you're going to start doing this, believe me, since I did it first, it's outlawed. I proudly wear the black hat, just so you know."

On the two-platoon system he is considering to take advantage of UK's tremendous depth...

"If we're really going to 'Blue' or two-platoon or whatever you're going to call it, these players need to know that I've got their back, that you can still play 20 minutes and accomplish your personal dreams as we try to do something unique...

The upside is, 10 kids eat; and really, 12 kids eat. It's easy to say you should only play eight or seven, unless that's your two or three sons who aren't playing, and these kids really deserve to play. These kids all deserve to play. I did not expect Willie (Cauley-Stein) and Alex (Poythress) and the (Harrison) twins to come back. I didn't know if Dakari (Johnson) would come back. But they all did, so now I have to take care of all of them.

The downside, what if one or two kids separate and they deserve more minutes? This isn't communism. Doc Rivers said to me, that's going to be your issue. Two guys separate, how do you get them more mintues than everyone else? That will play over time. How do you finish a game? Who are best five free throw shooters? We practice for that. Those will be the five guys on the floor."

On patience required to work on the two-platoon system...

"You know how patient I am. Winning, losing isn't that important to me. You know how I am. (Laughs) I've got to accept -- and I've got a fan base that has to accept, and they're really easy to accept -- that if we take a couple of spills early trying to figure this out, I gotta be OK and they've gotta be OK. That will be the hardest thing. I am committed to this, not because it's best for me or best for htis program right now, but because it's best for these kids, and I'm going to try everything I can to figure it out."

CLICK HERE to read full notes from the event and to join in the discussion with other UK fans on our AllWildcats Basketball Forum.

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