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John Calipari was asked what he thought about Louisville forward Montrezl Harrell, but gave insights on his feelings on the Cardinals in general, including how well they fill roles:

“Just so active. Really a good player. So active, goes after every ball, accepts his role. I mean, and the one thing with—what Louisville does best is: The two guys take all the shots, the two guards. The other guys that supposed to shoot threes do it. The rebounders rebound. The screeners screen. The post play behind, and they go rebound it. They are … collectively, they know what their roles are. He knows what his role is.

“The guy on our team who does his role better than anyone else is Dominique (Hawkins). What this team needs him to do, he does. And so we’re trying now to get everybody else to understand: Do you know what you have to do to help our team become better? So we’re still working on that with our team, but he does it for them. Their two guards shoot most of the balls. Just how it is. They take 60 shots, those two are taking nearly 40. The rest of you take a few shots here and there, go rebound that ball. And they do it. They do it, and they do it well.”

2 Responses to Calipari wants Cats to understand and fill roles like Cardinals do

  • TheProfessor says:

    This is some good insight about Louisville and Kentucky.

    Van Trease may be an even better example of the role playing than Harrell. Van Trease has only attempted 23 shots all year, and has gotten to the free throw line on 3 or 4 more possessions. However, he has gotten 30 offensive rebounds, made 4 assists, 11 blocks, 10 steals, against only 5 turnovers. This guy must be neutralized today for the Cats to win.

    Calipari exaggerates the role of Smith and Jones. Between them, they have taken 278 shots in 12 games, but the Cards have taken 759 total shots. These guys have gotten to the line another 43 possessions, but the Cards have been to the line a total of about 162 possessions. That is about 37% of shots and 27% of free throws. However, their individual efficiencies have been 0.223 ppp and 0.181 ppp respectively, which is 5th and 7th best on their team among the players that get big minutes. The highly efficient players with minutes have been Van Trease, Mathiang, Behanan, and Harrell.

    Those role players is where the key to victory lie in my view, so long as the Cats can make Smith and Jones use large numbers of possessions to get their shots and points.

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