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John Calipari: Mad Scientist or Just Out of Control?

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Now that it’s over, will he say it was all part of his grand plan from the git-go?

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

A couple of thoughts about the win at South Carolina:

[1] I don't believe Cal's ejection was pre-planned. It just wouldn't have made any sense. It was way too early in the game, he couldn't have known how his gang was going to respond. If they had gone the other way, he would have opened himself up to severe criticism, and it might have reversed everything he had been fighting to build for the last few weeks.

[1b] On the other hand, who knows what he brews up in his mad scientist's laboratory? He might have known exactly how it all was going to turn out - in which case, he is hands down coach of the millennium.

I don't know how he'll spin it going forward, and of course he doesn't call me to discuss or explain, but in the risk-reward game all big-time coaches have to play, the risk of being off the bench for 37 minutes in such a big game? I just don't think so.

[2] The people who don't follow Kentucky intently used some statistics to show that Kentucky is so much more than a backcourt-oriented, three-point-shooting team.

To wit: The Cats made 20 of 39 from inside the arc. Must have been the big men.

Well, "No" and "Not exactly." Of those 20, Tyler Ulis made three, Jamal Murray five, Isaiah Briscoe four and Charles Matthews one. Those were mostly pull-up jumpers and layups (plus, of course, one memorable dunk). The other seven were Marcus Lee (five) and Skal Labissiere (two). Lee's were all alley-oops and put-back dunks, set up by the guards' penetration; Skal had a dunk and one of his soft medium-length jumpers.

In other words, erase from your mind the picture of Karl Anthony-Towns getting position and going strong to the hoop, or Julius Randle on one of his bull rushes, or anybody with any muscle taking over the lane. This is, and will be for as long as it all lasts, a backcourt-oriented offense. Whatever inside game there is works off those guards.

That's not a bad thing, nothing wrong with it when you have the best two-headed and three-headed group of guards in the nation - and, for that matter, throw in five-headed, Matthews and Dominique Hawkins are not a bad reserve corps coming off the bench - but this is inside-out basketball, the dribble drive Cal has been talking about since he got here.

Maybe Alex Poythress can become that post presence when he gets back.Isaac Humphries has shown some moves, but I'm guessing his time will diminish as Poythress plays himself back into shape - especially if this game was really the beginning a new Lee and not just a one-off. But otherwise, it will be Ulis and Murray, and Derek Willis in the corner, for as long and as deep as this crew can survive.

Frankly, I don't think that's a terrible thing, at all. And whenever things get dicey or sloppy, or momentum is going the wrong way, Cal can always get himself tossed.