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As Duke Approaches, Kentucky’s Calipari Plots A Different Offense

He’s going to let Threedom Ring

Syndication: Louisville
Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski greets Kentucky’s John Calipari before the game in the Champions Classic Tuesday night. Nov. 6, 2018Kentucky Vs Duke Basketball 2018
Matt Stone/Louisville Courier Journal

Duke’s clash with Kentucky is just a few days away - it’s on Tuesday - and like a lot of people we’ve been thinking about it.

It’s all guesswork at this point but to us, Duke looks slightly ahead of UK. Obviously that’s based on two exhibition games, one by each school, and there’s a lot that we don’t know.

What we do know now is this: Kentucky’s John Calipari is adjusting his philosophy, shifting more to a skills-based approach. This new emphasis saw the Wildcats take 29 threes against Kentucky Wesleyan and hitting 37 percent from deep.

Unlike Duke, UK has two exhibition games this season with the second coming Friday against Miles College, so presumably we’ll know more after that.

What we do know is this: when Duke played Princeton several years ago, reporters asked Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski if he put more emphasis on stopping threes or the backdoors the Princeton Offense is famous for.

He had no doubt what he would prefer to stop: the three.

Obviously any Kentucky is a very different challenge than any Princeton team but with Jeremy Roach, Wendell Moore, AJ Griffin and Jaylen Blakes, Duke has some excellent defenders.

Just as importantly, they’re backed up by at least two excellent shotblockers in Mark Williams and Theo John. We haven’t seen it from Paolo Banchero, but there’s no reason why he can’t get in on the Duke Block Party.