Kentucky head coach John Calipari appeared at the Greater Louisville UK Alumni Association Tipoff Luncheon on Monday. Earlier that day, the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook became another preseason publication to pick Kentucky as the top team entering the 2014-2015 season.
The Wildcats are a safe pick, especially after they went 5-1 on their nationally-televised Big Blue Bahamas Tour, playing 10 guys consistent minutes. That depth is made even more impressive when you factor in Willie Cauley-Stein and Trey Lyles were both sidelined for that trip. Following the team’s stint in the Bahamas, Calipari said he thinks Kentucky will use platoons this season.
However, that depth made Calipari go out and hire Joel Justus as Kentucky’s director of statistical analytics this offseason. Justus, who was officially hired on Aug. 28, has previously been the head coach at Davidson Day High School (North Carolina) and has also been an assistant coach at Elon.
Steve Jones of the Courier-Journal was in attendance for Caliapri’s speech on Monday in Louisville, as the UK coach explained the need for the new position.
“If you’re playing 20 minutes, what will your NCAA stats look like? Terrible for NCAA stats, so we’re going to have big data stats, per-minute and efficiency stats that we can send to NBA teams.
He added: “Our NCAA team stats should look pretty good.”
Currently DraftExpress.com, has Karl-Anthony Towns, Willie Cauley-Stein, Dakari Johnson, the Harrison twins and Alex Poythress in its early 2015 NBA mock draft, and that could eventually include Marcus Lee, or Trey Lyles, or both. This isn’t the only thing Calipari has done to ensure his players have the best opportunity at the next level.
On Sept. 9, a report surfaced that Calipari was looking to hold a two-day scouting combine for NBA teams in mid-October.