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#18 UK Hoops vs. Rice University: Preview and Gamethread

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After a very successful exhibition Sunday against Union University, the Cats officially open the 2015/2016 season against Rice. What challenges will first year Coach Tina Langley and her Owls bring to Memorial?

Alexis Jennings was AMAZING against Union on Sunday.
Alexis Jennings was AMAZING against Union on Sunday.
Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Thankfully this doesn't happen too often but Friday night brings us dueling Wildcats, with both the men and women tipping off at 7 EST. Why must you make the BBN chose between their favorite children, cruel scheduling gods?

Sunday's exhibition against Union gave us a lot of insight into our new and returning Wildcats. We witnessed Janee Thompson's triumphant return to the court. We saw just how much work Alexis Jennings had put in during the offseason. We saw exactly why Evelyn Akhator was ranked the #1 JuCo Player in the nation. Maci Morris showed off the hoop skills you would expect from the reigning Miss Basketball in Kentucky, Batouly Camara dazzled us with her prowess, and Taylor Murray demonstrated that great things can come in small packages.

Led by Alexis Jennings' 20 points, a total of six 'Cats had double-digit performances. In addition to great shooting from the field, the 'Cats had some of their best free throw shooting in recent memory, hitting 75%+ from the charity stripe. They also managed to force 26 turnovers, and converted those into 28 points. All in all, a terrific performance.

The 'Cats now have to focus on their newest threat to home court dominance, the Rice Owls. Led by former Maryland associate coach Tina Langley, Rice is looking to make some noise this season and return to the C-USA Championship game. A lofty goal indeed when you realize Rice lost 5 seniors, including their leading rebounder and point maker from the 2015 roster.

This is the first game of the season for Rice, and I anticipate they'll come out with guns ablazing. This should be a fun matchup to watch.

Sadly, this game isn't televised but you can catch all the hoops action on WatchESPN.com or the SECNetwork+ Friday at 7 p.m. EST.

Until game time, 'Cat fans....Go Big Blue!