Fort Wayne Mastodons (3-1) at Kentucky Wildcats (4-1)
Game time: 8 pm EST
Location: Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky
TV: SEC Network. Use this to find what channel that’s on with your TV provider.
Radio: Tom Leach and Mike Pratt will have the UK radio network call on 630 AM and 98.1 FM in Lexington or other network affiliates.
Odds: Kentucky opened as an 18-point favorite. KenPom projected Kentucky to be a 20.5-point favorite.
Predictions: ESPN’s Power Index gives the Cats an 81.2% percent chance to win. KenPom projects an 86-65 win and gives the Cats a 97% chance of winning.
While we wait for the game, here are some highlights pass the time:
The Kentucky Wildcats’ early-season marathon continues Wednesday night when Fort Wayne comes to Rupp Arena.
After the Cats pulled off a 70-62 win over Troy on Monday, they’ll be back in action just two days later when they face the Mastodons before a mini Thanksgiving break.
This will be the sixth game Kentucky has played in since the season began just three weeks ago. That was what John Calipari wanted for his young Cats, to hit the ground running in November, then have much of December reserved for practice and Camp Cal.
Kentucky will have played seven games between November 10-26 by the time the month ends, but they’ll play just six games in the entire month of December, giving them more time to fine-tune themselves.
It’s painfully clear these young Cats need all the work they can get in before the schedule really heats up in late December, which includes matchups with Virginia Tech, UCLA and Louisville before a loaded SEC schedule begins.
As for Wednesday’s opponent, Fort Wayne is coming off a 67-51 win over the University of Illinois-Chicago. Senior guard Bryson Scott had 14 of his 19 points in the final 6:20 to push the Mastodons to their third win of the season.
Junior guard Kason Harrell added 11 points, and junior guard John Konchar had 16 rebounds and five steals to go with six points.
Fort Wayne is a very experienced team coming into Rupp Arena, which has been a consistent theme for Kentucky opponents thus far. All of the Mastodons’ top four scorers are either juniors or seniors.
They have seven total players with that designation, most of whom were part of last season’s 20-13 squad that made it to the CIT semifinals. That came after a 24-10 campaign in 2015-16 that saw the Mastodons make the NIT.
Oh, and they beat a top-five Indiana team last year. Good times.
As for the Cats, they’re coming off a so-so performance against the Troy Trojans. Tied at 8-8 early on, Kentucky took control with an 8-0 run and took the lead for good.
Freshman point guard Quade Green nailed a pull-up jumper at the buzzer to give the Cats a 41-25 lead at the break, their largest first-half lead of the season. Their 41 first-half points were its most in a first half this season. Green finished with 13 points, adding three points and three assists.
In the second half, Kentucky extended the lead to 21 points on three occasions, the last at 66-45, before Troy made a 9-0 run to cut the lead to 66-54.
The Trojans eventually reduced the advantage to eight points at 70-62 with 1:08 remaining, but there was no scoring in the final minute.
That 62-point outing was a key number for Kentucky’s defense. Under Coach John Calipari, the Wildcats are 149-5 when limiting opponents to 63 points or less.
Sophomore forward Wenyen Gabriel had a season-high 12 points and pulled down six rebounds.
Freshman center Nick Richards had an efficient game, producing eight points and eight rebounds in 12 minutes of action.
Redshirt freshman guard Hamidou Diallo had eight points and a career-high 10 rebounds.
Freshman forward Kevin Knox led the Wildcats with 17 points. He has scored double figures in all five games this season.