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John Calipari making big changes to backcourt?

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Better late than never.

Davion Mintz, Dontaie Allen UK Athletics

After another deflating loss that dropped the Kentucky Wildcats’ record to 8-15, John Calipari is once again tasked with looking for some sort of a solution for his team’s offensive deficiencies.

Watching the Cats try to score the ball can be painstaking. At times, it doesn’t seem like they are a team of Division I basketball players, and it’s hard to believe just how frequent the offensive droughts become.

Their inability to create offense has been an issue all season and in all likelihood will be what ultimately ends their season in Nashville at some point during the SEC Tournament.

But did Calipari possibly stumble on a tweak that could get things on track in what little time may be left?

Twitter was clamoring for more Davion Mintz at point guard after his season-high eight assists and just one turnover against Ole Miss.

On his call-in show on Wednesday evening, John Calipari echoed the BBN and confirmed that Mintz will get more minutes at point guard. He also acknowledged that it can be a heavy burden handling the bulk of the ball-handling responsibilities, which may be why it took so long before sliding him over.

It’s obvious that Mintz is more equipped to break down a defense than anyone else on this roster. He’s proven it and although there is just one regular season game left, it sounds like the senior transfer from Creighton may find himself with the ball in his hands even more.

Another subtle wrinkle you may have noticed from down in Oxford was Jacob Toppin getting some minutes at the two. Calipari said Wednesday that this is something Kentucky will continue to utilize, so we could see Toppin play significant minutes at the 2 Saturday when the South Carolina Gamecocks come to town.

The trend here seems clear — Calipari is determined to get the guys in the game that he thinks should be in the game — regardless of position.

If you’ve watched Toppin play, you know he’s not the most polished player, but he’s absolutely oozing with potential. Getting him exposure with what little of the season is left could prove to be one of the most impactful things for the future of Kentucky basketball.

In addition, Calipari admitted that Mintz at the point and Toppin at the 2 will allow Dontaie Allen to complete with BJ Boston for minutes at the 3. Allen has rarely seen the floor over the last month, despite Kentucky’s continued offensive ineptitude, which Boston has had a big hand in.

It’s time for Allen to starting seeing the floor more than 3-5 minutes a game and get more than one shot, if any at all. Allen can be a vital piece for the future of this program, whereas Boston is likely to be playing professionally somewhere next season, regardless of how his lone college season ends.

“I told him yesterday, ‘let balls go,’” Calipari said about Allen. “You can guard these guys in this game. There’s no one here you can’t guard. We’ll put you on the right guy. Go in there and let the ball go, because we could use him making a couple of shots right now.”

Bottom line — it’s not ideal to be deciding what your backcourt looks like with just one game left in the season. But that’s where things stand, and Calipari seemed optimistic about his squad having a legitimate chance to make noise in the SEC Tournament.

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Posted by Kentucky Basketball on Wednesday, March 3, 2021

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