By LARRY VAUGHT
During his clinic for high school coaches Saturday, Kentucky coach John Calipari said he would ideally like for his team to be able to score five seconds after an opponent’s made or missed shot.
With the overall speed and athleticism on this year’s team, Kentucky seems capable of doing that and certainly forced the pace in Sunday night’s win over Clarion.
“Well here’s what happened today and this is old school. We bypassed the point guard and threw it over his head up the court and that guy shot a layup or a dunk,” Calipari said after Sunday’s game. “So as I watched it I said, “You know what, maybe we focus on that. If I can get it ahead, I’m throwing it to half court. If I can’t throw it to half court, I’ll get the point guard looping.”
“But if Isaiah (Briscoe) or Malik (Monk) are ahead, throw it right over the top to them. If that team runs wide and we loop, De’Aaron Fox has the middle of the court. I like the fact that they trapped us, I like the fact that they showed heart and trapped on some pick and rolls.
“What bothered me in the first four minutes, we didn’t post the ball. Come on. You can’t start a game shooting all jump shots. Post the ball. And as the game went on I thought we did a good job. ”
Freshman Sacha Killeya-Jones says UK’s depth — Calipari used 10 players in the game’s first eight minutes Sunday — allows it to play fast.
“We know if we go out there and play as hard as we can for four minutes, do everything you can, and then the next TV timeout or whatever happens, the next sub, whenever you need a break just put your hand up and you can get out, get a break, and go back in and play as hard as you can for as long as you can. It’s awesome having so much depth and versatility,” Killeya-Jones said.
Another freshman, center Bam Adebayo, says the faster the play, the better Calipari likes it.
“Cal wants us to play like that in practice every day. When you do it every day in practice, it becomes repetition and then I guess you could say it becomes a habit,” Adebayo said.