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Calipari not sure if he will play two centers together tonight or not


Will centers Nerlens Noel and Willie Cauley-Stein play together tonight in a new Twin Towers look for Kentucky?

Kentucky coach John Calipari said Wednesday he wasn’t sure what he would do in the exhibition game against Northwood, a NAIA power, but admitted he had been playing them together in practice.

“What I liked is they were talking to each other on the court. That’s what you want. You want a team of guys that are talking to each other, that are looking after each other, have each other’s back,” said Calipari. “I’ve told you many times: for me, it doesn’t matter who starts, it’s who’s going to finish. I may be starting guys based on the fact that I just think this is the best way to start the game, what I want the rotation to be. When you look at my teams, it’s who’s in the game those last five, seven minutes. That’s who really matters. We’ll see.”

When Kentucky does use a bigger lineup, Calipari likes the length it gives his team.

“We’re so long I just told them like a simple thing: If Nerlens is out on the floor, you get into the lane. I don’t care where your man is. If you’re out on the floor (Cauley-Stein), Nerlens, you get into the lane. So you’re always going to have someone line 7-foot standing near the goal. And then you tell the other guys, ‘Make them drive.’ How about that for genius basketball?” Calipari said.

With a big lineup, Calipari wants UK’s other defenders to make players drive so the centers have a chance to block or alter shots.

“You don’t want to block your own man’s shot. You’re trying to block your teammates’ shot – his man, not your man. You body him and let us block it, and there’s enough guys on the court that can do that, disrupt shots,” Calipari said.

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  1. Jim Boyers

    Of course he is going to play them together. How can he not?

    I’ll just be glad when it’s time for tip-off. I can’t wait to end the anticipation.

  2. Mike Flannery

    Coach Cal has got to be totally excited with the flexibility he will have with this team, yes, early on it presents problems (good), but, the positive options to utilize are fantastic…can you imagine how difficult it would be to prepare to play UK as Cal develops each option. This is going to be another great year to be a UK fan. This program is at the pinnacle and every UK fan is totally blessed….not even John Wooden had 5 consecutive recruiting classes! Every top program in the country is frustrated trying to slow down the “Big Blue Train”!

  3. grant

    what a front line!

  4. TrueBlueJohn

    I was glad to see Cal pick Joe Hall’s brain about playing twin towers. Joe coached two pretty good sets of them in his day, and had great success doing it. When he recruited Rick Robey and Mike Phillips, I wondered how he was going to play two big men together. He didn’t do too bad. NCAA runner-up as freshmen, NIT champs as sophmores, Elite eight as juniors and NCAA champs as seniors. And if it hadn’t been for injuries to Bowie, he probably would have won a couple of championships with Sam and Mel Turpin.

    Here is hoping Cal figures it out quickly. I have every confidence that he will.

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