That Kentucky has a wealth of talent isn't a news bulletin, but coach John Calipari said Friday his roster is so deep that he plans on using two five-man units to start the 2014-15 season.
"We didn't have the players last year to do this," Calipari told ESPN.com. "We will have two 5-on-5 platoons and a guard sub and a big sub, and that puts you at 12. You're working to get in the top 10. It means we have to play faster and have to press more. Who those two groups will be is going to unfold."
Calipari said he will mix and match the groups of five depending on situations. His stable of potential pro talent: Karl-Anthony Towns, Aaron Harrison, Andrew Harrison, Willie Cauley-Stein, Trey Lyles, Marcus Lee, Tyler Ulis, Alex Poythress, Dakari Johnson and Devin Booker.
"If it's late in the game, then you have your five best free throw shooters on the court," Calipari said. "If you're playing a good offense, then you're out there with your best defensive five. That stuff is all going to be figured out. My issue is everyone has to be patient. I'm going to be learning as these guys are learning. If we take some L's early because of this, that's OK because I'm still learning. The only way to learn is to do this early by playing Kansas, UCLA, Texas."
Calipari, who's beginning his sixth season at Kentucky and has been named Naismith College Coach of the Year twice in his long career, hinted this is his most balanced team.
"Right now we've got 12 guys that aren't that far from each other," he said. "What if you have one group better off playing zone? Then you play zone. None of it has been figured out. But on our Bahamas trip [in August], everyone bought into the idea.
"Now we're trying to do something never done in college basketball. We never expected four of these guys to come back, but they did, so what are we going to do? If we can finish the season doing this, then we will."