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By LARRY VAUGHT
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.