Cal: Platoons may have hurt

After being spurned by at least a half dozen elite prospects during the spring basketball signing period, Kentucky coach John Calipari suggested Tuesday that he suspected negative recruiting based upon his platoon system played a role.

"In all my coaching career, I’ve always played six, seven or eight guys," the UK boss wrote on his CoachCal.com site. "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 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."

Kentucky flirted with a historic season, going 38-0 before falling to Wisconsin in the Final Four. In the aftermath, seven players decleared for the NBA Draft, but the Cats signed only one player in the spring -- junior college shooting guard Mychal Mulder -- and still have three open scholarships at this time.

Elite prospects such as Brandon Ingram (ranked No. 3 by Scout), Jaylen Brown (4), Ivan Rabb (5), Stephen Zimmerman (8), Cheick Diallo (9) and Malik Newman (10) all chose others schools despite clear openings on the UK roster.

"Never in my life did I think that I would platoon, but most people didn’t think we would ever win 38 straight to start the year, set a record for wins in a season and have seven players drafted," Calipari wrote. "It’s amazing people could try to use that against us, but I guess you have to come up with something.

"If you ask me if I’m ever going to platoon again, my answer is NO. Last season was an absolute outlier. It’s just not the way I like to coach. I would rather play seven or eight guys because I believe that gives us the best chance to win. I think we wrote the book on platooning this year, but I hope we stick it on the shelf and never have to use it again."

Despite the recent recruiting misses, UK still has Scout's No. 3 class for 2015 behind only Duke and Arizona. The Cats are brining in the new No. 1 overall prospect, center Skal Labissiere, the No. 12 prospect, combo guard Isaiah Briscoe, and the No. 75 prospect, swingman Charles Matthews, to go along with Mulder.

That group will join returning Cats Alex Poythress, Marcus Lee, Tyler Ulis, Derek Willis, Dominique Hawkins and EJ Floreal to form the core of a team expected to be in next year's preseason top five despite the mass exodus.



AllWildcats Top Stories

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\"In all my coaching career, I’ve always played six, seven or eight guys,\" the UK boss wrote on his CoachCal.com site. \"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.

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\"...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.\"

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Kentucky flirted with a historic season, going 38-0 before falling to Wisconsin in the Final Four. In the aftermath, seven players decleared for the NBA Draft, but the Cats signed only one player in the spring -- junior college shooting guard Mychal Mulder -- and still have three open scholarships at this time.

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Elite prospects such as Brandon Ingram (ranked No. 3 by Scout), Jaylen Brown (4), Ivan Rabb (5), Stephen Zimmerman (8), Cheick Diallo (9) and Malik Newman (10) all chose others schools despite clear openings on the UK roster.

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\"Never in my life did I think that I would platoon, but most people didn’t think we would ever win 38 straight to start the year, set a record for wins in a season and have seven players drafted,\" Calipari wrote. \"It’s amazing people could try to use that against us, but I guess you have to come up with something.

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\"If you ask me if I’m ever going to platoon again, my answer is NO. Last season was an absolute outlier. It’s just not the way I like to coach. I would rather play seven or eight guys because I believe that gives us the best chance to win. I think we wrote the book on platooning this year, but I hope we stick it on the shelf and never have to use it again.\"

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Despite the recent recruiting misses, UK still has Scout's No. 3 class for 2015 behind only Duke and Arizona. The Cats are brining in the new No. 1 overall prospect, center Skal Labissiere, the No. 12 prospect, combo guard Isaiah Briscoe, and the No. 75 prospect, swingman Charles Matthews, to go along with Mulder.

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That group will join returning Cats Alex Poythress, Marcus Lee, Tyler Ulis, Derek Willis, Dominique Hawkins and EJ Floreal to form the core of a team expected to be in next year's preseason top five despite the mass exodus.

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See what WILDCAT fans are saying here

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\"In all my coaching career, I’ve always played six, seven or eight guys,\" the UK boss wrote on his CoachCal.com site. \"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 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.\"

Kentucky flirted with a historic season, going 38-0 before falling to Wisconsin in the Final Four. In the aftermath, seven players decleared for the NBA Draft, but the Cats signed only one player in the spring -- junior college shooting guard Mychal Mulder -- and still have three open scholarships at this time.

Elite prospects such as Brandon Ingram (ranked No. 3 by Scout), Jaylen Brown (4), Ivan Rabb (5), Stephen Zimmerman (8), Cheick Diallo (9) and Malik Newman (10) all chose others schools despite clear openings on the UK roster.

\"Never in my life did I think that I would platoon, but most people didn’t think we would ever win 38 straight to start the year, set a record for wins in a season and have seven players drafted,\" Calipari wrote. \"It’s amazing people could try to use that against us, but I guess you have to come up with something.

\"If you ask me if I’m ever going to platoon again, my answer is NO. Last season was an absolute outlier. It’s just not the way I like to coach. I would rather play seven or eight guys because I believe that gives us the best chance to win. I think we wrote the book on platooning this year, but I hope we stick it on the shelf and never have to use it again.\"

Despite the recent recruiting misses, UK still has Scout's No. 3 class for 2015 behind only Duke and Arizona. The Cats are brining in the new No. 1 overall prospect, center Skal Labissiere, the No. 12 prospect, combo guard Isaiah Briscoe, and the No. 75 prospect, swingman Charles Matthews, to go along with Mulder.

That group will join returning Cats Alex Poythress, Marcus Lee, Tyler Ulis, Derek Willis, Dominique Hawkins and EJ Floreal to form the core of a team expected to be in next year's preseason top five despite the mass exodus.


See what WILDCAT fans are saying here

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