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All John Calipari needed to know to add Ben Jordan as walk-on was that he was 6-9

John Calipari wants to make sure he has enough “bigs” to have competitive practices. (Jeff Houchin Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

The roster that Kentucky has suits coach John Calipari fine — unless he gets someone hurt. If that happens, then the coach worries he might be caught shorthanded at practice.

To help ease his worries, Calipari added UK baseball pitcher Ben Jordan to the roster last weekend to give the team another big to go with Nate Sestina, Nick Richards and EJ Montgomery.

“Zan (Payne) and Dontaie (Allen) are both out right now, and so we said, why don’t we add Michael Jordan to our team. So we couldn’t get him so we took Ben Jordan. And he’s 6-9 and he’s got a great way about him, a great disposition, and obviously I keep telling EJ (Montgomery), as soon as he gets in a little better shape he’s going to be dunking on you,” Calipari said after the Blue-White Game.

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But he’s big, 6-9, long-armed, pretty good basketball savvy, feel. He’s the leading rebounder and shot-blocker in his (high) school’s history, like eighth-leading scorer in his school’s history, basketball. Obviously really good baseball player.
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Calipari didn’t even have Jordan work out before adding him to the roster. All the coach needed to know was that Jordan was 6-9 and a former high school basketball player who was already on campus pitching for the Wildcats.

“Brennan (Canada), it’s not fair for him to go inside and have to be playing against Nick and Nate. It’s just not.,” Calipari said.

Calipari said when baseball needs Jordan, he’s a “baseball player” and that will be his priority.

“I wish it was like high school where two or three days a week we could scrimmage, because I have enough guys for that. Like bring in another team and let’s scrimmage, and let’s go this weekend and scrimmage, and I’d be fine with the numbers,” Calipari said.

“The problem is, if you know me, I like to go competitive and it’s five-on-five. So we’ve been doing four-on-four, not all bad for this team because there’s still habits that get a break, and they are going to have to figure out.
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