Cal likens next season’s team to his 1st at UK

Relatively deep. A mix of highly touted freshmen joining a core of talented veterans.

Kentucky Coach John Calipari saw his 2013-14 team sharing those qualities with his first UK team.

Speaking on a SEC teleconference Monday, Calipari made that comparsion. He said that next season’s UK team will more resemble his first team at UK, the one with John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Bledsoe joining veterans like Patrick Patterson, Darius Miller, DeAndre Liggins and Perry Stevenson.

“It’s a team that won’t be a great, great execution team,” Calipari said of the 2013-14 Cats. Like the 2009-10 team, UK can “physically do things” to beat opponents.

Calipari noted that great talent — UK adds six McDonald’s All-Americans to the roster — provides a chance for great success. Teams without great talent are all but doomed to second-class status, he said.

But it takes unity, work ethic and leadership to achieve on the highest level, he said.

Calipari welcomed the kind of competition created by the stellar freshman class joining veterans like Willie Cauley-Stein and Alex Poythress.

“You can make excuses but you’re sitting,” Calipari said of the urgency created by competition. “. . . All of a sudden, they’re on a mission like some of my best teams have been on.”