In partnership with CBSSports.com
Online Now 1024
Online now 184 Record: 6210 (3/13/2012)
You have no favorite boards.
The most viewed topics.
The most replied to topics.
The most up-voted topics.
The most down-voted topics.
The most up-voted posters.
The most down-voted posters.
The most followed posters.
Historically, coaches can go with an 8 man rotation and keep everyone happy. There are adequate minutes to go around, especially when guys can play multiple positions. Going a legitimate ten deep, where all ten guys average double figure minutes, is pretty unrealistic if you study prior seasons. The general belief is that Cal played a relatively deep bench during his first season at UK, but it should be noted John Wall still averaged 34 mpg. Two other guys (Bledsoe & Patterson) averaged more than 30 minutes per game. 9 guys averaged double figure minutes. You also have to keep in mind that Liggins missed 10 games that season, so simply looking at the mpg for each player is slightly misleading.
Here’s the link I’m using if you’re interested in seeing how the minutes broke down that year - http://www.wildcatworld.com/kentucky-basketball-statistics/2009-2010-kentucky-basketball-statistics/
If you try and apply similar logic to next year’s team, you might have something like this:
PG: Andrew Harrison (34 mpg) | Aaron Harrison (6 mpg)
SG: Aaron Harrison (20 mpg) | Young (20 mpg)
SF: Wiggins (30 mpg) | Poythress (10 mpg)
PF: Randle (30 mpg) | Poythress (5 mpg) | Wiltjer (5 mpg)
C: WCS (25 mpg) | Johnson (10 mpg) | Lee (5 mpg)
Remainder of roster: Hawkins, Hood, Willis
This gives you three guys averaging 30+ minutes per game and 8 averaging double figures. I listed Johnson as getting more PT than Lee, but that one could go either way. My takeaways from all of this:
- The ninth and tenth men will need to accept their roles. I don’t see them getting a lot of minutes, even if they are talented players like Johnson or Wiltjer. It’s easy for people to assume Cal will just “play 10 guys”, but logic and history suggest the primary rotation will remain at 8 players.
- It is hard for me to imagine Wiggins and Randle playing less than 30 mpg, meaning Poythress needs to accept his role of a 15 mpg player
- This team is going to be really good.
Follow me on Twitter - @CMD_77
Great analysis and probably very accurate. I think this is going to be one of the more interesting stories to watch as the year approaches. Id love to see the break down of minutes for the 96 team. It seems (going only from memory) that team went with a ten player rotation, rotating five in and five out always full court pressing and running. Do you see this team as a full court press type team? seems like the athletes are definitly capable of playing that style, though it flys contrary to what Cals biggest strength has always been wich is strong half court man to man defense
I think Coach Cal turns it up a couple of notches next year. I think that he will play his number 1's 25-30 minutes. I think that those 25 mintues will be a track meet pace that no one will be able to run with. With this many top tier players, why not run full throttle? Who has this much talent that goes this deep? Who will try to slow it down to a half court game with a team with this size, quickness, and ability?
If your number 1's play at full throttle for 20 minutes and are up 20-25 points, do you continue to run up the score or bring in your number 2's.( It feels weird calling a bunch of McD's All-Americans number 2's).
Those 2s will have the ability to come in fresh and further wear down team's en route to stretching leads out even more.
What a great problem to have lol. Do you think its a full court press after every made basket? I do agree it will be an all out attack at all times. Good points on trying to stop them in the half court too. You are forced to go zone or man to man with no double teams. I cant imagine a zone being very effective with the size, passing and shooting ability of this team. Also on defense in the half court they will be able to afford to be very aggressive as they will almost always have a shot blocker protecting to rim. The Harrisons dont look to me like they will be easily beat off the dribble and I cant imagine anyone powering past Randle. They will be able to extend the defense and really get after people. I still like the idea of a full court press though to really press your numbers advantage and wear teams out
The 1996 team is an interesting case study. I don't think we've seen that type of minutes distribution since that team. 9 guys averaged more than 10 mpg, with a tenth averaging 9.3 (Prickett should be removed the discussion since he only played 5 games). No player averaged more than 30 mpg. Link attached.
Great , thank you for that link. First thing i noticed as well on there is you have 7 guys that got just under or over 20 mpg.
What a great issue to have to solve?! Thanks to the OP for posting. I would be surprised if any one player averaged more than 27-28 minutes with the possible exception of Harrison at the point. I think Marcus Lee will play a lot more than 5 minutes and Poythress more than 15 minutes. This is going to be exciting. I think you will see a lot of guys around the 20 minute mark in playing time. It will probably vary depending on who gets the hot hand. If Cal brings Hawkins in, I would think he gets 7-10 mins a game, b/c he doesn't want to be left with a point guard in 2015 with no experience at point guard. Awesome stuff.
I think we are underestimating AP...
I still think by NCAA tourney Cal will have it down to 8-9 man roster...
They will certainly have the depth and athleticism to press relentlessly with two big caveats.
First, does someone emerge as a viable backup to Andrew Harrison at the point? They are easily two deep at every other position but if Harrison has to average at least 30 minutes per game then the press will be used more judiciously.
Second, will this very young teams understand their defensive rotations well enough to take advantage of the opportuny for using their length and athleticism to press? If so, it will be difficult for teams to just get the ball across half court. If not, they could give up some easy baskets which would likely lead Cal to pull back and focus on tough half-court defense. This team should be VERY tough in the half court. If you press ineffectively, you are going to give up some easy shots.
I have a feeling that we will see a lot of Young at the 2. Both him and Aaron at the 2 will be a nightmare matchup for most other 2's.
We will see Harrison's sharing some time at the PG.
I am most excited to see some lockdown defense this year. I love seeing the Cats imposing their will on their opponents. I am getting a feeling that this team has a good basketball IQ, therefore I think that they will be able to quickly pick up on the rotations needed to wreck their opponents.
But we shall see.
I think the OP has it broken down really well.
If (BIG if) Wiggins doesn't choose UK, how do you divide up those 30min? And who slides up or down to fill in the hole at the 3 behind Poythress? Obviously Young would swallow up some of that time at the 3.
As others have mentioned, the question about whether or not Cal will move to a full court press has me very intrigued. It's not really his style of play, but with this level of talent (and when you see what UL is doing), it's hard to say going in that direction would be a mistake. UK would just dominate teams if they ran and pressed for forty minutes. And, as shown with the 1996 team, it might be the best (or only) way to keep 10 guys happy.
I think the backcourt rotation is pretty locked down - Andrew Harrison, Aaron Harrison, and Young will split minutes at the guard spots. Aaron will serve as the backup PG. If foul trouble is ever a concern and fourth guard needs to play, that will be either Polson (if he's on the roster), Hawkins, or Hood depending on the positional need. UK won a national title rotating Teague, Lamb, and Miller between two guard spots. During the Final Four season Cal did the same thing with Knight, Lamb, and Liggins. I fully expect to see the same trend next season. The depth overload falls more into the frontcourt next year.
I don't think anyone on the team will log over 30 minutes a game.. I see An Harrison, Randle and Wiggins all getting between 27-28 minutes.. Aa Harrison and WCS will average 22-24 minutes, Young, Poythress will get around 18-20 minutes, Lee, Wiltjer, Johnson will average between 10-13 minutes..
An Harrison - 28
Wiggins - 27
Randle - 27
Aa Harrison - 24
W.Cauley-Stein - 22
Poythress - 20
Young - 19
Johnson - 11
Wiltjer - 11
Lee - 11
The beauty of the situation next year is that (assuming Wiggins comes) this team has the talent, skill, depth, size and strength to play virtually any type of game and in likely all cases have a decided advantage at every spot on the floor.
It's almost like Calipari's going to be playing chess with a board full of queens. I can't wait.
Crazy thing about that 96 team is the playing time of Nazr. Played 88 minutes total. I know that he was a project and had to develop, but that is nuts.
He's not going to be able to do his typical play-seven-guys style of play. We've got 2 legitimate 5 man teams that would probably start for anyone. What I'd like to see him do is get the first team ~30 minutes and then have a "full throttle" set of five that can really hit the other team in the gut with energy and three pointers when we need it most. Wiltjer, when hot, demands many more than 5 minutes with a quality team around him.
Exactly. Although I don't see it happening very often, Cal will even have the option to go small (across the front line) and trot out a lineup consisting of the twins, Wiggins, Poythress, and Randle. My God...
That "small" lineup will be bigger than lots of teams. So many possibilities.
As of today, which likely means nothing, this is how I see the rotation:
PG- Harrison 6- Young
SG- Harrison 7- Wiltjer
SF- Poythress 8- Lee/Johnson
PF- Randle 9- Polson
C- WCS 10- Lee/Johnson
I think it will be interesting to discuss average minutes vs. how much everyone plays in the big games or close games.
For the season, the averages may be balanced with no one averaging more than 30 a game.
But against UNC, UL, and big tourney games, I think you will see Twins, Wiggins, and Randle all play at least 30 min.
Very good point.
I agree, though i dont think He would stray to far from the formula, especially if they go with the running gunning full court press. That formula could be absolute domination if everyone buys in and we have the talent it appears we have. either way its going to be alot of fun to watch, and alot of fun to debate
I think most of us would like Cal to press and he might but I think he will go full court man or 3/4 court man. He's always been a half court defense and I think that's what next years team will play for the most part. Plus Calipari brought some of these guys for next years team because of what happened this past year. Never again will he suffer through what happened this past year.
Plus if Wiggins doesn't come Young will get his minutes and come tourney time Cal will have a 8 or 9 man rotation and these guys will spend all year trying to earn their spots.
IMO when you have this much talent it isn't smart to press because in the event you play a team very good against the press you subject yourself to the risk of giving up easy baskets. The roster we have for next year will absolutely smother teams in the half court and they will be able to play very aggressive considering the risk of foul trouble is virtually zero.
+1, I was about to say the samething. Why press when UK should be able to lockdown teams in the halfcourt?
247Sports In partnership with CBS Sports