Have you noticed anything different or unique with this year’s men’s basketball team for Kentucky? One might say their chemistry (for the most part) has been outstanding. Others might say it’s been their play style and offensive efficiency (again, for the most part).
But how about John Calipari? He’s appeared to calm down a bit on the sidelines during games to create a more positive atmosphere for his players and appears to be looking at different coaching tactics to better prepare his young team following their second loss.
After Kentucky lost to UNC-Wilmington on Saturday, Calipari admitted he was stunned — even with DJ Wagner out and Aaron Bradshaw playing his first minutes as a Wildcat.
He said after watching the film, Kentucky didn’t share the basketball like they had during their first seven games of the season. The team’s offense was a lot of one-and-done with one pass or less before taking a shot. Kentucky also had an uncharacteristically high amount of turnovers in the loss, which further derailed their chances of being successful.
There really isn’t a way to combat turnovers other than simply cutting them out, but one way to help off-set a bad offensive night is to crash the offensive boards. So, Calipari apparently covered the rim during practice force the Wildcats into offensive rebounds.
Considering the team now has Bradshaw in the lineup and is expecting both Ugonna Onyenso as well as Zvonimir Ivisic to make their season debut soon, the Wildcats will boast one of the taller front court rotations in the country. So, capitalizing on missed shots via offensive rebounds shouldn’t be too big of a problem for Calipari’s Wildcats.
This method of covering the rim was one of several tactics used by Calipari in practice. It’s a welcomed sign of energy from the UK coach and another reason fans should be excited about how far their team could potentially go once March Madness arrives in the spring.
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