Calipari chatted with Mitchell for platoon prep

As John Calipari was plotting platoons this summer, he didn’t have to go too far to get some first-hand information. The men’s basketball coach just walked across the hall to Matthew Mitchell, who has used a similar substitution strategy with the UK women in recent years.

“Over the course of the summer, we have had some conversations about it,” Mitchell confirmed as he previewed the UK women’s season opener on Friday night against Appalachian State. “I think the two programs can both tap into the depth that we both have and be successful.”

While the UK women won’t be utilizing a true platoon system this season, Mitchell’s teams have gotten a big boost from the five in, five out strategy, he said.

“There is a lot of advantages to that with the way we play the game, especially to start a game,” Mitchell noted. “When we have been successful, we have gone first four minutes, second four minutes and then we would start plugging gaps or who was playing well.”

Mitchell said it’s difficult to go a full 40 minutes using a platoon system, though. For his teams, it’s usually been first half thing that evolves as the game goes on.

“We very rarely played a 40-minute game where in was five in, five out like a hockey line change,” Mitchell said. “We haven’t really done that.”

About Jennifer Smith

Jen Smith has been a sports writer at the Herald-Leader since 2000, covering everything from high school sports to auto racing to various University of Kentucky sports. A native of Louisville and a graduate of the University of Kentucky (much to the dismay of her Louisville graduate mother and Indiana graduate father), Jen now resides in downtown Lexington with her husband and two young sons. You can follow her on Twitter @jenheraldleader or send her an email at
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