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Kentucky Wildcats vs EKU Preview: Start Time, TV Info, Online Stream, Rosters and more

Everything you need to get set for Kentucky vs EKU.

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The Kentucky Wildcats will look to rebound from their first loss of the season when they host the EKU Colonels this Wednesday.

UK is coming off an 87-77 defeat at the hands of the UCLA Bruins last Thursday, the 'Cats' first true road game of the season. It's safe to say they didn't exactly pass the test with flying colors, but it's still far too early in the season for these young 'Cats to hang their heads. They'll look to rebound this week against a scrappy EKU squad.

The Colonels are coming off a 74-71 win at Savannah State on Saturday. EKU forced Savannah State into 25 turnovers and stifled the Tigers into just 1-of-13 (8 percent) shooting from three-point range. Senior wing Jarelle Reischel finished with 24 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists to lead EKU.

It was the first road win of first-year head coach Dan McHale's career, who took over at EKU this offseason after former coach Jeff Neubauer left to become the head man at Fordham. Neubauer guided the Colonels to a 21-12 record last season that ended in he CIT Quarterfinals. That season also included an 82-49 loss at No. 1 Kentucky.

But these two teams will be much different this time around. In addition to all of the turnover at UK, EKU also graduated five seniors from that team, three of which were starters. This year, they're led by the 6-7, 210-pound Reischel, who's averaging team-highs with 19.7 points, 8.2 boards and 2.0 steals per game to go with 3.7 assists per contest. His breakout season includes a 37-point outburst in a 110-97 win over Longwood.

Junior wing JaVontae Hawkins isn't far behind at 18.8 points, 4.4 boards and 2.6 assists per game. Freshman big man Nick Mayo has been a nice surprise for the Colonels, averaging 12.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and a team-high 0.9 blocks per game.

The Colonels will come into Rupp Arena looking to light up the scoreboard from three-point range. EKU has attempted 203 three-pointers this season while connecting on 90 of them, good for a 44.3% clip. That's the fifth-best percentage in college basketball with only the likes of Oklahoma and Kansas ahead of them.

Speaking of offense on the perimeter, the three-ball is something the Cats are desperately trying to improve upon. It looked UK was improving there after hitting three of their first five three-point attempts at UCLA and remained within striking distance. But UK went cold from there, hitting just one of the next 12 attempts and went from trailing 19-17 in the first half to down 77-63 with two minutes left in the game.

For the season, the 'Cats are hitting just 28.5% of their threes, good for only 309th out of 351 DI teams. Freshman guard Jamal Murray has shown he can light it up from three at times while hitting 35.6% from deep this season.

If you take out his 1-for-10 game against NJIT in just his second collegiate game (also on a back-to-back), Murray is hitting 43% of his threes this season.

Still, this is something that must improve if this UK squad is to become a legitimate Final Four contender.

Another area that must improve is the production UK gets from freshman forward Skal Labissiere. It hasn’t been an easy ride for Skal so far as the 6-11, 220-pound big man is struggling to play big in the paint. Through eight games, Skal is averaging 12 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.1 blocks, and has no double-doubles with four single-digit games.

He's also getting in foul trouble a lot with at least three fouls in his last six games, including fouling out against Duke. Labissiere only played 16 minutes against UCLA, scoring six points and blocking two shots. He also struggled to stop Bruins 7-foot center Thomas Welsh last Thursday as Welsh dominated this matchup while registering 22 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks.

Last Monday during a 75-63 home win over Illinois State, Skal was again a non-factor, notching just two points, two rebounds and one block in just 16 minutes. When UK faces EKU Wednesday night, getting Skal going needs to be high on the priority list for the 'Cats as they look to get back to looking like a top-10 team.

Here is everything you need to get set for UK vs EKU.

EKU Colonels (7-2) at Kentucky Wildcats (7-1)

When: Wednesday, Dec. 9th

Location: Rupp Arena in Lexington, KY

Game Time: 7:00 pm ET


RostersEKU RosterKentucky Roster

Online StreamWatch ESPN

RadioUK Radio Network (Tom Leach, Mike Pratt)

Odds: UK is a 24-point favorite, per Vegas Insider.

Projected EKU Starters

G - Paul Jackson, 6-1, 178 lbs

G - Isaac McGlone, 6-2, 178 lbs

F - JaVontae Hawkins, 6-5, 211 lbs

F - Jarelle Reischel, 6-7, 210 lbs

C - Nick Mayo, 6-9, 220 lbs

Projected Kentucky Starters

G - Isaiah Briscoe, 6-3, 202 lbs

G - Jamal Murray, 6-4, 207 lbs

G - Tyler Ulis, 5-9, 160 lbs

F - Marcus Lee, 6-9, 224 lbs

F - Skal Labissiere, 6-11, 225 lbs