Bill Self says Kentucky could go undefeated
The Kentucky Wildcats made a dominant presence felt in their 72-40 win against the Kansas Jayhawks in the Champions Classic on Tuesday night. John Calipari is employing a 10-man rotation by splitting minutes with two line ups that he calls “platoons”. Kentucky’s size and length was the recurring story of the game. The Wildcats have four players over 6-foot-10 and turned in 11 blocks against Kansas.
Jayhawks head coach Bill Self answered a number of questions about the team that just annihilated his, including the possibility of the Wildcats pursuing a perfect record this season.
“Wichita State did it last year,” Self said when asked if it was crazy to think that Kentucky could go unbeaten.
“If by February they’re still undefeated, that could be something that could happen.”
There’s so much ahead and teams have a tendency to get better, too. There will be teams out there that can challenge them. Whether they can beat them, I don’t know.
This game featured 11 projected NBA first-round draft picks, and over 60 league personnel were in attendance. For that reason, with the slew of potential one-and-done talent on his roster, Calipari feels obligated to make his 10-man rotation work,
Will I ever go to playing eight guys or seven? I hope not because I want to be fair to all these kids. This is what’s right for these 10 players, and really 12 players. If we lose some games early playing this way, then we lose some games early.
Before the year is out, Kentucky will see Providence, Texas, North Carolina, UCLA and Louisville.
This might be Calipari’s biggest development year in that he truly wants to have two units that he can trust to interchange on the floor and wear opponents down like they did to Kansas on Tuesday night. Those units might even change as individual developments occur. As usual, Calipari understands the long and hard road for his team to reach their potential.
“We’re not that good, next question,” Calipari said when he entered the media room, seemingly not needing a drink of vodka to feel good.
“He’s gotta say that,” Self said when told what Calipari had said. “For this early in the season, though, they’re pretty good though.”