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By LARRY VAUGHT
Freshman Marcus Lee, a McDonald’s All-American, did not play until early in the second half against Transylvania but had three points, two rebounds and one blocked shot in nine minutes to impress Calipari.
In fact, coach John Calipari said the only reason that Dakari Johnson — nine minutes, eight rebounds in 17 minutes — didn’t play more was because he wanted to give Lee an opportunity.
“Got to get Marcus Lee in the game. You got to play Marcus Lee, so who doesn’t play? Somebody, somebody. Who is it? Because he goes in with that kind of energy, he changes the game,” Calipari said. “Dakari played well. He did. The only reason he didn’t play more is because I wanted to give Marcus Lee some time.”
Lee was energetic on the bench before he got into the game and on the court he was talking and several times showed the superb leaping ability he has. Calipari says he’s just as good in practice.
“Always does the same thing. It’s just that he’s at a position, he doesn’t have a skill set to play a four at this point,” Calipari said. “So now I got to figure out, do I got to play him at some four and how do I do that, because Dakari has to play. I think Willie (Cauley-Stein) is good enough to play. Now you got three guys at that kind of position (center). How do you play all three? One of them has to play another position.”