James Crisp/Associated Press
With seven former McDonald's All-Americans on the roster, it's tough to imagine the team not having depth; however, Kentucky had a stretch earlier this season when it was getting minimal production from its bench players.
That has not been the case in SEC play, though.
In fact, it's almost been the opposite; the bench players, especially Alex Poythress and Dakari Johnson, have outshone the starters.
Poythress returned to Lexington for his sophomore season after starting the majority of games during his freshman year. While he struggled early in the season, he began to find his niche coming off the bench this season. He scored in double digits in five of seven conference games and, more importantly, has played impressive defense and found an intensity that he lacked during his freshman year.
Johnson, one of the six McDonald's All-Americans who signed with Kentucky this season, was expected to challenge Cauley-Stein for a starting spot during the preseason; however, he struggled with conditioning, foul problems and adjusting to the college game.
It looked like he would be buried deep on John Calipari's bench, but since the calendar turned to 2014 and Kentucky began conference games, Johnson has outplayed Cauley-Stein and looked like the center Kentucky fans expected.
Depth is always important, but with a roster full of talent, it's important that the bench plays well for Kentucky. That way, Calipari can tweak his five on the court whenever he feels like and can dictate the way the game is played.