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John Calipari wants players to prioritize games over drills this summer

This is something this year’s team didn’t have the chance to do.

NCAA Basketball: Arkansas at Kentucky Arden Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

John Calipari and his staff are officially in next season mode after the Kentucky Wildcats finished 2020-21 with a 9-16 recording and missing out on the NCAA Tournament.

A big reason for Kentucky’s struggles this year was the fact that they didn’t have a summer with the team together preparing for the season due to Coronavirus.

The players all arrived on campus late and with a team that returned one player that played any minutes the season before, it makes it difficult to build a chemistry before the season starts.

I believe that was a big problem all season, as this team didn’t get to do normal college things to get to know each other and develop a chemistry. Everything they did together was practice and games.

However, with the world slowly beginning to get back to normal, the 2021-22 roster should have a normal summer and preseason unlike this year’s group.

On Monday, Calipari had his final coaches show of the season, and he said that the plan going forward will be decided in the next three weeks to a month.

As for the upcoming summer, Calipari said the team is going to be playing a lot of pick up games, because “you need to play basketball” in order to get to know your new teammates. A luxury that this year’s squad didn’t get.

“This is going to be a big summer for us. What will the team look like? How many news guys blending with the veterans that are coming back. That summer is when they start to get together. We’re going to play a lot of pick up.”

It is still too early to know who all will be on the roster next season, but it is obvious that Cal is going to emphasis these players getting to know one another and building a chemistry, something that felt missing this past season.

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Posted by Kentucky Basketball on Monday, March 15, 2021

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