In the first exhibition game of Kentucky’s schedule, the Wildcats won 108 to Clarion’s 51. The Wildcats took the lead in the game scoring the first 4 points and never looked back after that never trailing once the entire game.
No one player stood out, which is not a negative here tonight. Six Wildcats had point totals in the double digits with Malik Monk leading the way scoring 15. Bam Adebayo and Isaiah Briscoe both had double-doubles tonight with Bam scoring 13 points and grabbing 14 rebounds and Briscoe scoring 11 points along with collecting 11 assists.
Derek Willis also scored 13 points on a great night with Fox and Killeya-Jones snagging 12 points each. The bench alone scored 50 points.
Offensively they’re a team you can watch for days and never get tired of the moves that Fox and Monk just seem to effortlessly pull off to create chances and score easy baskets. Briscoe has his jumper and Willis is a force all on his own, not to mention the wrecking ball that is Bam Adebayo.
But this team’s defense is a strength all on its own. 6 players combined for 7 blocks with Willis getting two himself, and 5 players combined for 14 steals with Monk and Isaac Humphries swatting away 4 shots each. When Clarion was in the paint, they were virtually shut down only being allowed to score 10 points when down low.
In all, the boys played an aggressive defensive game scoring 38 points off of 26 turnovers they forced. The feel good story of the game was by far and away Brad Calipari coming off the bench and closing the game out with back to back three pointers giving Kentucky a 57 point lead, their largest of the game.
After Brad’s first three, the whole building erupted into a chorus of cheers including the Kentucky bench, which went absolutely wild for the Coach’s son.
After it was all said and done, Coach Cal said he was happy with how his team played but that they “Have to defend the three better.” Kentucky gave up nine three-pointers, which can’t be a trend that continues once they face more serious competition like Louisville or North Carolina.
The Cats play again in one week here at Rupp Arena as they play their last exhibition game against Asbury University, their last chance to tune up for the rapidly approaching regular season.