Kentucky State Thorobreds at Kentucky Wildcats
- Date: Friday, November 1st
- Game Time: 7:00 pm EST
- Location: Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky
- TV Channel: SEC Network
- Announcers: Mike Morgan and Mark Wise will call the action.
- Radio: Tom Leach and Mike Pratt will have the UK radio network call on 630 AM, 98.1 FM in Lexington, and on the UK Sports Network.
- Online radio: TuneIn broadcast or UKAthletics.com.
- Online Stream: WatchESPN
- Replay: WatchESPN and SEC Network (check local listings).
- Rosters: UK | KSU
- Live Stats
While we wait for the game, check out UK’s effort to raise $1 million for support student-athletes through the ‘Million Dollar Bottle.’
The Kentucky Wildcats will take the court in their second exhibition game of the season on Friday as they host the Kentucky State Thorobreds.
The Wildcats looked dominant, at times, in their opening game against Georgetown College. But with the potential of Nick Richards being sidelined to injury, it will be interesting to see John Calipari’s approach to playing with smaller lineups. Richards left the game with a bad ankle injury and probably won’t play Friday, while his status for next week vs. Michigan State is unknown.
Kentucky State is coming off of a 13-13 season, but finished strong in winning their last six contests. The Thorobreds lost their top four scorers from last season and return just one starter, Felix Wilson. He started all 25 games he played in, and was second on the team with 60 assists to go with 5.2 points per game.
Senior forward Grant Goode is their highest returning scorer at 7.4 points per game while shooting 42.2% from the field.
The Thorobreds play in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, where they finished in the middle of the pack in the West Division. They were picked to finish fourth in the SIAC West Division this upcoming season.
Coach Jamaal Jackson is entering his fourth season as the head coach at his alma mater, and he loves for his teams to push the tempo and move the ball as quickly as possible.
Many Wildcats looked strong in the first exhibition game on Sunday, especially the back court as Immanuel Quickley led the team in scoring with Tyrese Maxey and Ashton Hagans right behind.
Kentucky already had a lack of depth in the paint, and now that Richards is out for an unknown amount of time it will be even more important for EJ Montgomery and Nate Sestina to step up.
Montgomery had a game to forget vs. Georgetown, hitting just 2/7 shots and missed a lot of easy shots right at the rim. He needs to finish better vs. KSU to feel good about him going into next week’s showdown with the Spartans.
Another key player who needs a bounceback in the worst way is Kahlil Whitney. The freshman wing had a good summer, and many believed he was in line for a start spot, but he ended up coming off the bench vs. Georgetown and left a lot to be desired.
Whitney finished 0/5 from the field, 0/2 from the charity stripe, and did not secure a rebound in 22 minutes of play. Rebounding is a major question mark with this team due to its lack of frontcourt depth, but Whitney was thought to be someone who could help that issue. If he doesn’t step up this week, he could find himself riding the bench for much of the Champions Classic next Tuesday.
How will Whitney and Montgomery respond? Will Calipari be forced to play with small ball lineups during Richards’ entire absence? Or will we see Sestina and Montgomery on the court together at some point? And can Juzang get going after failing to find his offense vs. Georgetown and even in the Blue-White Game?
Tip-off is at 7 p.m. on Friday on the SEC Network. It is the last chance to see the Cats in Rupp Arena until the following Friday when they host another in-state school, Eastern Kentucky University.