When two sets of five-man platoons aren’t enough, it pays to be the 12th man (in terms of minutes played) on the No. 1 team in America. For Derek Willis and the rest of the Kentucky Wildcats, opportunities are only what are made of them.
“I’m just trying to take advantage of my opportunity,” said Willis. “Devin (Booker) and Tyler (Ulis) are out, so I was called to step up. I’m just out there playing.”
With Booker and Ulis — who together compose the backcourt of Kentucky’s White Platoon — sidelined by injury, Willis was counted on for important minutes down the stretch of Wednesday’s tight matchup with Columbia University. The Cats won the game 56-46, while Willis shined in the process.
“Derek was really good today,” said head coach John Calipari. “I thought Derek was outstanding.”