Looking Forward to Calipari’s Platoon System


Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

In the Bahamas, Calipari introduced us to the “Platoon”, a substitution of 5 in, 5 out. With a team stocked full to talent, it was his answer for making sure everyone played. And Calipari has said it’s possible he’ll use it during the season, something many find exciting. Eamonn Brennan writes:

"“So yeah, as of mid-August, that’s what I’m most excited to see in 2014-15: a real, legitimate five-in-five-out platoon, a team so big and talented that its coach can split it into two discrete groups and still almost always have the five best players on the court.”"

Kentucky ought to dominate much of the SEC this basketball season; Florida is viewed as their only true threat to a regular season championship. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t other potential stumbling blocks in the conference. Thad Novak writes:

"“Kentucky basketball is the clear favorite in next year’s SEC, but conference play always has a few surprises lurking. How ready the Wildcats are to stay focused against some of their less-heralded foes could make all the difference in their quest to match the unbeaten record Florida posted as last year’s league champion.Here’s a look at some of the teams and players that could surprise the ‘Cats if they have a big game at the right (or wrong, from UK’s perspective) time:”"

Although his play significantly improved in last season’s NCAA Tournament, Andrew Harrison was overshadowed his brother Aaron’s late game heroics. But Andrew is one player to watch in college basketball this year. Kerry Miller writes:

"“Kentucky legitimately might go 40-0, and Andrew Harrison will be the one steering the ship. There are plenty of places to focus attention on the Wildcats this season, but Harrison will inevitably get the most praise and/or scrutiny.If he’s great, we’ll applaud his decision to return for a second season to improve his all-around game and become an NBA-ready point guard. If he struggles, we’ll scream for his head and beg to know why Tyler Ulis isn’t starting.”"

How impressive were Kentucky in the Bahamas? Enough to put to rest any doubt they ought to begin the season ranked #1. Gary Parrish writes:

"“The whole thing ended Sunday with a turnover that prevented Kentucky from returning to the continental United States with a perfect record during what, for television purposes, became known as the Big Blue Bahamas trip. So that wasn’t ideal. But the shorthanded Wildcats were still impressive while compiling a 5-1 record over a span of eight days against mostly grown and reputable professionals, and it’s now hard to imagine any reasonable person voting anybody other than John Calipari’s team as the preseason No. 1.”"

Cincinnati were in the Bahamas last week, too. But Mick Cronin took an unusual approach to his team’s international journey. Mike DeCourcy writes:

"“To that end, Cincinnati has taken a most unusual approach to its opportunity to travel outside the United States for a playing tour. Whereas Kentucky will play six games in the Bahamas and crosstown rival Xavier played four games on a journey to Brazil, the Bearcats’ six-day trip to Paradise Island will include but a single game, which comes Friday evening against the P.J. Stingers, a pro team from the Bahamas.”"