IUP Crimson Hawks at Kentucky Wildcats
- When: Friday, Nov. 2 at 7 pm EST
- Where: Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky
- TV Channel: SEC Network
- Live Online Stream: WatchESPN and fubotv
- Replay: ESPN+ and SEC Network (check local listings)
- Radio: Voice of the Wildcats Tom Leach and Mike Pratt will have the UK radio network call on 630 AM and 98.1 FM in Lexington or online at UKAthletics.com.
- Live Stats
- Kentucky Roster | IUP Roster
While we wait for the game, here’s a look at the Wildcats previewing tonight’s action:
The Kentucky Wildcats play their second and final exhibition game on Friday at 7:00 pm against DII opponent Indiana University of Pennsylvania. The game will be broadcast on the SEC Network and marks UK’s final opportunity to tune up before the Champions Classic against the Duke Blue Devils.
After a lackluster performance last week against Transylvania, the Wildcats are aiming to add some shooting and consistency to their approach. In the first exhibition game, Kentucky only made 1 of their 13 three-point attempts. That’s not going to cut it with a loaded schedule that includes Duke, Kansas, North Carolina, Auburn and Tennessee.
It was sophomore Quade Green that drilled the only shot from behind the arch, he finished with 13 points on 5-7 shooting. Sharpshooting freshman Tyler Herro will be looking to get back on track after going 1-8 from the field which including 0-4 from three.
Who is IUP?
The Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) was selected as the pre-season favorite to win the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Western Division. Last season, the Crimson Hawks won the PSAC and finished with a record of 22-8, marking their 8th western division regular season title in the last nine years.
The Division II bulletin has the Crimson Hawks ranked as pre-season #13 in the country. It is safe to say that this program is a top tier team in Division II and will use this game as an opportunity to get better against elite competition.
In its history, IUP is 1-11 against Division I opponents with the lone win coming against Bucknell in 2009. Coach Joe Lombardi with enter his tenth season with the team and also has one hell of a name for a head coach.
Indiana University of Pennsylvania players to watch:
Jacobo Diaz -Senior Forward
Led the team last year in field goal percentage shooting 52% from the field and grabbed 9.7 rebounds a game . He was also named a Preseason player of the year and a first-team All-American.
Dante Lombardi - Senior Lombardi
Son of Head Coach Joe Lombardi and a 1,000 point scorer. Lombardi is also sixth in school history with 397 assists. Brad Calipari won’t be the only coaches son on the roster for this one.
Malik Miller - Junior Guard
Miller has came off the bench in both of his season with the Crimson Hawks, including last season when he averaged 13 points a game as a sophomore.
What to watch for
Making jump shots
It was troubling to see Kentucky struggle so much shooting the ball in their first exhibition. Is it something to worry about? Probably not. But another poor shooting performance could carry over to Tuesday’s Champions Classic game against Duke.
Hopefully, the misses from behind the arc can just be attributed to jitters of the first time playing in Rupp Arena against a live opponent. I expect Tyler Herro and others to get on track against IUP. I still maintain my stance that if Kentucky can make 7-8 threes per game they will be nearly impossible to beat.
This will continue to to be something to keep your eye on early in the season. Your guess is as good as mine for what John Calipari has in mind for the starting line-up and rotation moving forward.
Quade Green looked sharp last week against Transylvania playing off the ball. I would say that his starting spot at the two is pretty much locked in. Other than that there are tons of options that the coaching staff could explore.
I am a fan of playing the big line-up with Reid Travis and Nick Richards in the paint with P.J Washington or EJ Montgomery at the three. That line-up is just impossible to block out. Montgomery played exceptional in the first exhibition game scoring 14 points on 7-10 shooting. I would expect his minutes to increase in Friday’s game and beyond.
UK had 14 turnovers against Transylvania, which is too many against an inferior opponent. Like always, Calipari will be screaming for the guards to push the ball up the floor at a frantic pace.
So, it’s reasonable to think that the inexperienced back-court will make some mistakes. But every single player on the team, except Brad Calipari, had a turnover against Transy. The Cats have to clean it up before meeting the Blue Devils in Indianapolis.