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Kentucky vs. Clarion -- Analysis and Open Game Thread

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Since SB Nation doesn't provide a special open game thread for exhibition games, it's just more convenient for me to combine all that into one. 

Tonight, the Kentucky Wildcats face off against the Clarion Golden Eagles, John Calipari's alma mater.  The particulars of tonights game are as follows, courtesy of

  • Time & Place: 
  • Gametracker gametracker.
  • Live audio listen
  • Subscribers on Extreme Access watch (delayed per SEC rules)
  • Cable TV: FSN-South: 7:00 p.m. ET (Live)
    Footprint includes the states of Kentucky, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee.

    Broadcast TV/BBSN
    Market Station Time (all times local)
    Bowling Green WBKO-CW 9:00 p.m. (delayed)
    Evansville WTVW-TV 10:00 p.m. (delayed)
    Hazard WYMT-TV 11:35 p.m. (delayed)
    Huntington, W.Va. WSAZ-My qZ 11:30 p.m. (delayed)
    Hopkinsville WKAG-TV 10:00 p.m. (delayed)
    Lexington WKYT-TV 11:35 p.m. (delayed)
    Louisville WMYO-TV 11:00 p.m. (delayed)
    Paducah, Ky./Cape Girardeau, Mo. WDKA-TV 9:00 p.m. (delayed)

The Clarion Golden Eagles:

  • Head Coach: Ron Righter
    Overall Record: 365-250 (.593)/24th season
    Clarion Record: 341-226 (.601)/22nd season
    PSAC-West Titles: 3 (1997, 2000, 2005)
    PSAC Titles: 1 (2001)
    NCAA D-II Playoff appearances: 1 (2001)
  • Home arena: Waldo S. Tippin Gymnasium (Dedicated in 1968) Capacity: 4,000
    NCAA Division II Playoff appearances: 2 (1981, 2001)
    NCAA Division II Playoff record: 1-2
    NAIA National Playoff appearances: 3 (1952, 1977, 1980)
    NAIA National Playoff record: 3-3
    PSAC-West Titles: 12 (first; 1971; last 2005)
    PSAC Titles: 1 (2001)
    Record since 1971: 644-403 (.615)
  • Picked to finish 7th in 8 team Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Western Division
  • Should have athletic team in 2009-10 that could be 11 deep
  • Team wants to run the floor
  • Team wants to be aggressive on both sides of the court with pressure defense and transition offense.


 RECORD:                OVERALL      HOME        AWAY       NEUTRAL
 ALL GAMES...........   (11-16)     (8-7)       (2-9)       (1-0)
 CONFERENCE..........   (2-12)      (2-5)       (0-7)       (0-0)
 NON-CONFERENCE......   (9-4)       (6-2)       (2-2)       (1-0)


NO NAME POS HT/WT YR Hometown/High School Status Remarks
00 Patrick Parker G 6-2/170 FR Jamaica, N.Y./Hillcrest Prim. Reserve
1 Lloyd Harrison G 6-1/195 JR Detroit, Mi./Southwestern Starter Juco transfer, 26.3 PPG, 6 RPG
2 Mike Nealis C 6-8/230 SO Drexel Hill/Episcopal Adademy Prim. Reserve
3 Brandyn Mungo G/F 6-6/185 FR Westland, Mi./Renaissance Prim. Reserve
5 Jordan Lessane G 5-9/160 FR Mount Vernon, N.Y./Mount Vernon Reserve
10 David Colbert G/F 6-5/205 FR Youngstown, Oh./Christian Reserve
12 Greg Parker G 6-3/195 SR Chester/Cardinal O'Hara Reserve
15 Shameel Carty G/F 6-3/185 JR Queens, NY/Holy Cross Starter 9.2 PPG, 4.6 RPG
22 Jamar Harrison G 6-3/180 JR Washington, D.C./Dunbar Starter Juco transfer, 17 PPG, 6 RPG
31 Mike Sherry G 6-1/185 JR Pittsburgh/Chartiers Valley Starter 10.6 ppg, 64 assists, 56 3-pointers
32 Paul McQueen F 6-5/225 SO Garfield Heights, Oh./Garfield Heights Starter 4.3 PPG, 3.4 RPG
35 Denzil Dennison F 6-2/190 FR Ruther Glen, Va./Caroline Reserve
44 Julius Berry F 6-7/215 JR Wilmington, N.C./Waterloo East Prim. Reserve



This is a relatively small team, but they have more size and relatively more athleticism than Campbellsville.  They will want to try to play "small ball" at a high pace in order to use their speed and quickness, and are likely to substitute liberally.  There are a lot of unknowns on Clarion because several of their best players are JUCO transfers, and it's hard to tell how they will compete at this level.

Clarion will be a scrappy, quick team that will force UK's bigger players to focus in order to defend them out on the floor, as Calipari wants them to do.  They will have a very difficult time with Kentucky in transition if they don't hit their shots, and since the Golden Eagles like to run on offense, you can expect an up and down game which will favor Kentucky's considerable talent advantage.

Defensively, Clarion is likely to have to go to the zone early and often to minimize the impact of the DDM offense.  Even though the 'Cats have not assimilated the DDM yet, John Wall by himself will make it very difficult on the Golden Eagles if they try to play man-to-man.  Look for the Wildcats to drive the ball to the rim a lot more in this game as they try do do what Coach Cal is trying to teach them.

I expect a big game tonight from Wall, Patterson and Cousins.  I have a feeling they are tired of Darnell Dodson stealing all the headlines, but Dodson is likely to continue to shoot when he gets the chance.  I would like to see a much better rebounding effort out of Kentucky tonight, and as fast as the Golden Eagles play, that should happen.


Go, 'Cats.