Kentucky Coach Mark Pope Drops Honest Admission On Roster Construction

New Kentucky Wildcats head coach Mark Pope inherited an unusual situation when he stepped foot on campus. Pope took over the most popular one-and-done program in college basketball.

The Wildcats have long been associated with loaded recruiting classes. Yet many of those classes have been comprised of players who would like to depart for the NBA relatively quickly, if not after one season on campus.

Former head coach John Calipari benefited from the previous arrangement since it gave him enough of space to add fresh talent to the roster each offseason. For Pope, who values development and experience in roster building, it’s not ideal.

Pope spoke with Fox Sports’ John Fanta about how he had to momentarily adjust this year in order to assemble a roster.

There is a wide range of things. It’s not how we’re going to construct this year in and year out because we have to go from 0 to 12 in the portal season alone. However, it was the only option available to us this year. There weren’t many alternatives left for us.”

Pope’s system makes it difficult for inexperienced members of his team to perform at a high level. This offseason, the Kentucky coach needed to visit the portal in order to add experience.

Thus far, the former Kentucky player has had success in the gateway.

The inside production of Oklahoma State transfer big man Brandon Garrison is augmented by San Diego State guard Lamont Butler and BYU forward Jaxson Robinson for the Wildcats.

To further strengthen the portal class, facilitating point guard Kerr Kriisa (West Virginia) and perimeter scorer Otega Oweh (Oklahoma) move across.

The head coach of the Wildcats is eager to get started. He knows he’ll need depth to do it.

Pope has experience playing with a full roster. The former athlete was a member of the 34-2 winning 1995–96 national championship squad, which sent nine players to the NBA, under former Kentucky head coach Rick Pitino.

While it’s unclear if Pope will achieve the same degree of success, his goal is to return Kentucky to winning in crucial moments.

On November 12, the Wildcats will play an early test against the Duke Blue Devils in Atlanta in an attempt to get off to a fast start.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.