John Calipari is either a madman or a genius, and we’re going to go with the latter.
The well-known coach doesn’t have his usual, inexperienced team this season. Rather, he’s starting upperclassman and several transfers to go along with 5-star guard TyTy Washington.
A team with this experience knows how to play and how to feed off each other. Add in the chemistry, and it's easy to see why these Kentucky Wildcats have four players averaging double figures.
After the team missed their season average, pouring in just 71 points against LSU, Calipari mentioned that he wants to get a sixth player to reach 25 points in a game, something none of his past Kentucky teams have done. The most they’ve had is five (2015-16 and 2019-20).
The Wildcats currently have five who’ve hit 25 this season: Washington, Sahvir Wheeler, Oscar Tshiebwe, Kellan Grady and Keion Brooks.
“I would like to get one more guy to do that so we’d have six, because you’re going to get in a game and someone may need to make baskets for you to separate. Either they’re making shots and you’re going to have to score some baskets to separate,” Calipari said following the team’s home win over LSU.
It was again Oscar Tshiebwe with 17 who led the team against LSU. He’s been the Cats’ more consistent form of offense this season; however, it’s been playmakers like Sahvir Wheeler and Washington that typically captain the offense, along with sniper Kellan Grady.
The players that could certainly get there that are currently coming off the bench are guard Davion Mintz and forward Jacob Toppin, the former of which has scored 21 points in a game this season.
And don’t count out Bryce Hopkins following his breakout game vs. LSU, in which he scored 13 points on 5/6 shooting.
Kentucky has one of the highest octane offenses in the SEC and gets a ton of second-chance opportunities. That’s how they’ve been so good this season, mainly protected as a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
If the Wildcats can get that sixth scorer to hit 25, it’ll be incredibly impressive and just showcase the talent they have coming off the bench. With the backcourt still injured, any game Mintz could help accomplish what no other Calipari team has done in Kentucky.