On Friday, the Kentucky Wildcats are set to play their second (and final) exhibition game of the 2018-19 season against the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Crimson Hawks.
Though, the Wildcats likely have their eyes set on the Duke matchup four days later, they need to finish the exhibition season strong to ensure they’re as finely tuned as possible for Tuesday’s monster clash.
This is the first and only exhibition game of the season for the Crimson Hawks, and as John Calipari always says, this is going to be their Super Bowl.
The Crimson Hawks had a solid 22-8 record last season, but fell short of reaching the NCAA Division II Tournament. This will only be the 13th Division I game for the Crimson Hawks and will be the first matchup between the two schools.
The Crimson Hawks currently stand at 1-11 in their 12 games again NCAA Division I schools, having beat Bucknell in 2009. The Wildcats will also match the highest=ranked opponent the Crimson Hawks have ever played, as they played the #2 ranked Michigan State Spartans in 2013.
Forward Jacobo Diaz, a senior for the Crimson Hawks was the only player to start all 30 games for the team last season. He shot 52% (170-327) from the field and 42.9% (30-70) from three-point range. He also led the team in grabbing rebounds, he averaged 9.7 rebounds per game. He has potential to be lethal against the Wildcats given the right opportunity.
Willem Brandwijk, another forward and senior for the Crimson Hawk started 29 of the 30 games last season and has potential to also be an issue for the Wildcats. Brandwijk shot 59% (79-133) from the field and was right behind Diaz in rebounds, averaging 6.2 per game. The combination of Diaz and Brandwijk could hurt the Wildcats if they’re unable to grab boards of their own and find a way to stop them from getting to the rim.