Calipari has to figure out best way to use guards

De'Arron Fox (Vicky Graff Photo)

De’Arron Fox (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Trying to figure out the best way to use guards Malik Monk, Isaiah Briscoe and De’Aaron Fox together will be one of the early challenges for coach John Calipari.

All three have to play. Along with Bam Adebayo, they are UK’s best four players and Calipari is not going to keep one on the bench with him.

“We haven’t played them all together. 

Had a great meeting with those three today,” Calipari said after Friday’s Blue-White Game. “We got a lot to figure out. It’s going to be organic, as it always is here. We got to figure out different rotations, who plays better with whom.

“My guess is we would never be on the court without either Isaiah or De’Aaron. One of those two, and probably 20 minutes a game will be both of them. Then how do we play?

“You know, I love the fact that Isaiah is shooting the ball better, making free throws, shooting those better.

 Malik, getting better. He’s getting better.

 But we’ve got a lot to figure out right now.”

Fox said Calipari had a meeting with the three guards explaining how he wants to use them.

“If I’m off the court, Isaiah has to be on the court. If Isaiah’s off the court, I have to be on the court. We’re going to play a lot of minutes together. All three of us together, we’re going to play a lot. So he’s just showing us all the confidence that he has in his point guards,” Fox said.

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  1. Problems, problems – it just never ends. And then there’s Hawkins of course. He deserves some PT IMO but likely he will not get a lot of it. I wish I had problems like this one in my life. Do I drive the Mercedes or the Vette? Do I stay at the beach front compound in Florida or the farm between Lexington and Versailles? Decisions decisions.

    1. Mr. KingGhidora, I agree with you and looking forward to an outstanding season for our team (women’s team) included.

  2. Following the Blue White game, Calipari provided a glimpse into his thinking about guard rotation.

    He said he will have either Briscoe or Fox on the court at all times, AND plans to play them together as well. He noted Hawkins’ strong showing as well, and we all saw how Monk can shoot from mid-range and get to the basket. So he has 4 players he will rotate. I believe the hint about Fox and Briscoe indicate 30 min/game each, leaving up to 40 minutes to split between Monk and Hawkins, which I believe will be 25 for Monk and 15 for Hawkins.

    That leaves 80 minutes per game to distribute among the front court players, Bam, Humphries, Willis, et al. I can foresee Bam at upwards of 30 min/game, with Willis at about 25 per game, leaving 15 per game for Humphries and an assortment of other options in the front court, and there are many of them fighting for valuable playing time.

    Buckle up, because this is going to be one heck of a team, and therefore a season for history is on the brink.

  3. Cal’s quandary about which of his guards should play and when, reminds me of my Air Force days. I was stationed three years overseas in a vacation paradise. My toughest choices on days that I was not on duty were: (1) Do I go play golf? (2) Do I go to the beach? (3) Do I go fishing? or (4) Do I go back to bed? It looks to me like no matter who Cal puts in the game, something good is about to happen.

  4. TrueBlueJohn said, ” It looks to me like no matter who Cal puts in the game, something good is about to happen.”

    Out of 4 great guard options, it is almost inconceivable that UK has an game in which 3 or 4 of these 4 players are having “off” games at the same time. Ditto for the various front court options. Cal’s task during games is determining which players, if any, are having those rare “off” games and substitute accordingly.

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