At the heart of it, Calipari’s surprise is quite interesting

It wasn’t a big shock when today’s heralded big surprise from John Calipari was that the Kentucky coach is using a computerized monitoring system to gauge the effort and the conditioning of his team.

After all, Cal has talked quite a bit about heart rates during the last few weeks. Wednesday night, after the Cats pounded Eastern Michigan, senior guard Julius Mays said that at practice Calipari is always talking about heart rates and keeping the players’ heart rates up.

In writing about it on his web site, Calipari makes a very good point about his young team. “We don’t have guys who have been in the system that can show them how hard they have to work,” he says.

Last season, Kentucky had Darius Miller, Terrence Jones and Doron Lamb who knew the Calipari Way. This year, there is Kyle Wiltjer and, well, Kyle Wiltjer. Yes, Ryan Harrow was on the team last season, but the point guard was sitting out the year as a transfer. Practicing is not the same thing as playing.

To show them how hard they have to work, and how hard they are working, Calipari has turned to the numbers. He’s a Big Data guy. And he’s getting his data from monitors that measure exertion, sports zones, caloric expenditure and heart rate, according to the coach.

“I always say the film doesn’t lie, that you can have every excuse you want but the truth will show up on film. Guess what? The monitoring system doesn’t lie either.”

I’m not sure why anyone would have a problem with what Calipari is doing. Isn’t this what institutions of higher learning all about — research, development and finding new and better ways to do things?

Calipari also explains why he has made an issue of the NCAA training table restrictions with regards to players. He’s using cutting-edge technology to get an advantage while the Indianapolis body is using old-school measures to level the playing field.

Raphielle Johnson of College Basketball Talk points out that the New York Times did a story about college athletes being underfed.

I poked a little fun at Cal’s big pronouncement this morning, but it’s an interesting read. I’m a sucker for numbers, too.

 

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