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Devin Askew doesn’t mind playing off the ball; likes Terrence Clarke running point

Askew isn’t a traditional off-ball guard but is taking a liking to Calipari’s transition.

NCAA Basketball: State Farm Champions Classic-Kansas at Kentucky Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Kentucky Wildcats brought in the best recruiting class in the nation this season with multiple five-star recruits joining John Calipari in Lexington.

Not returning a single starter as all five declared for the NBA Draft although only a few actually heard their name called, the Wildcats, without the normal amount of practices or exhibition games, had to get the ball rolling quickly with an inexperienced group.

That’s been tough for Calipari and his coaching staff. The Wildcats quickly dominated Morehead State as expected. It got much more difficult with a veteran Richmond team that tested Kentucky at all facets of the game.

Fast forward four games, the Cats are 1-4. In order to get something different going and potentially have the freshman get more into the offense, Calipari switched up a few of the roles offensively.

Point guard Devin Askew moved off the ball while Terrence Clarke, a five-star recruit, handled the duties of igniting the offense. Clarke put up 14 points in a one-point loss to Notre Dame just 11 days after the Cats lost by three to the No. 5 Jayhawks.

How did Askew perform? He had just three points in 22 minutes. However, he’s still not going to bash the move that Calipari made, saying that he likes being able to see the court differently.

“I’m doing the same thing. I can still be a point guard. Can still be a guard off the ball. Terrence (Clarke) is a great point guard, and when he (takes over) the point guard role, it gives me a chance to get off the ball and see the court from a different area. I like it,” Askew said.

It’ll be interesting to see if Calipari sticks with this set up. Olivier Sarr has been the team’s best player, and the next step for Kentucky will be getting more out of Clarke and top-five recruit BJ Boston.

Once that happens, the Wildcats should return to contention in the SEC, but it’s anyone’s guess when the staff figures everything out. The Cats have a big-time matchup to prove they can still hang with the best as they take on No. 22 UNC on Saturday.

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