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Kentucky Wildcats Morning Quickies: John Calipari's Defense Edition

News and commentary from around the Big Blue Internet. Kentucky takes on Boston U. tonight in Rupp. Rifle travels to Fairbanks, Alaska. Men's soccer out of NCAA's. More.

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Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

John Calipari is one of college basketball’s best defensive coaches. I think that’s right, although last season’s team made me wonder. But looking at his Ken Pomeroy stats, you have to be impressed.

Also, I don't think this year's team is going to do anything to hurt Calipari's record on defense.  Kentucky is currently #1 in the nation in that statistic on

Tweet of the Morning

Amen, brother.

Your Quickies:

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  • Boston University’s newspaper on the game tonight.

  • Lindsay Travis, writing for, says that Kentucky’s returning experience has played a big part in their early-season success. I think that’s right. Having returners has always helped Kentucky, such as in 2011-12 when they had Jones, Lamb, and Miller back from a deep run in the NCAA Tournament.

    I’d argue tournament experience makes their return even more valuable.

  • UK platoons smothering opponents in the second half. No question, and I was shocked that UK held Kansas to only 12 points in the second half. I thought holding Buffalo to 14 was probably an unbeatable effort. Boy, was that wrong!

  • Forget the season, just mail the trophy to UK. Tongue in cheek, of course. Consider:

    Just last season, Kentucky fans were crowning the Cats as potential undefeated national champs in November, and by February everyone was wondering how everything could have gone so wrong.

    True, but as it turned out, they were only slightly wrong. But there is a lot that can happen in a season, most of it really bad.

  • Michael Rosenberg says UK won’t be tested until March. So I guess Louisville is just going to cancel the game? Texas? Florida?

    Maybe Kentucky wins it all anyway. But it’s pretty likely that in the NCAA tournament, the Wildcats will be in a really tight game, perhaps even trailing. What does Calipari do then? If he is still using his platoons, he can’t easily adjust his rotation to take advantage of matchups or hot hands. If he stops using platoons and just plays his best players, the other guys could get awfully grumpy. Not many future NBA players are happy sitting on the bench in college. And if he uses platoons all season and then stops in the middle of an NCAA tournament game, his players may think he is panicking.

    I’m sure we’ll be in tight games before the tournament. The best thing about college basketball season is the season. That’s why we don’t just go straight to the tournament.

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