LEX 18 True Blue Coverage

Oct 15, 2011 6:51 PM by Brent Carney

Calipari Unsure What Style Best Suits Long And Talented Team

Upon arrival at Kentucky three seasons ago, John Calipari educated the True Blue Nation on his dribble drive offense. Since then, the coach has shown a willingness to go away from his patented attack if he believes something else is a better fit for his team.

This year with another young team that's long in talent and even longer in the arm, he's not sure what style he will use.

"I can't tell you how we're going to play. I don't know yet. When I get them in there, what will happen is we'll play some and I'll say I like this and I don't like that. Let's get away from that and let's play this way," Calipari said during Kentucky's Media Day Thursday.

Last year Calipari needed Brandon Knight to bring the ball up the floor but also had to find a way to free up Knight to shoot, so he altered the dribble drive to put in an offense full of handoffs. This season he plans on experimenting with the pick and roll - something he got more comfortable coaching during his stint with the Dominican Republic. A typical dribble drive offense is known for its lack of ball screens.

The pick and roll may work this season because Kentucky does not have a true center on its roster and appears to be built to spread the floor to take advantage of a group of highly skilled forwards.

"We changed our break yesterday. So instead of running people to the rim, we're running people wide now," Calipari said Thursday. "We have all 3's. We have three 4's who think they're 2's. We have no 5's. Okay, we'll play this way so none of you have to be a five."

Anthony Davis at 6-foot-10 is the Cats' second tallest player (behind 6-foot-11 Eloy Vargas) but has guard skills that are better suited for the perimeter.

He does not expect Calipari to order him or anyone else to spend much time on the low block.

"There's nobody in the post until maybe like a rebound but there's nobody like initially in the post until we probably start running plays," Davis said.

Calipari admits his team is "skinny" but with its length and quickness, is not worried about how they'll defend bigger teams, even if he's not sure yet how they'll play on defense.

"We may start saying we're trapping everything and I look and I don't like it we're taking too many chances, giving up too many shots, don't do it. We may go back and we may play a zone. I may look at it in all likelihood and say get out of it we're done. But we don't know," he said.


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