The Kentucky Wildcats beat the Miles College Golden Bears on Friday night by a score of 80-71.
Miles College is a small, private and historically black liberal arts college in Fairfield, Alabama. The school has about 1,500 students and was part of coach Cal’s plan to set up an exhibition with an HBCU.
As for the game, Miles got off to a red-hot start hitting their first six three-point attempts and 11-15 in the first half alone. That led to a 46-39 halftime lead for the Golden Bears. Yes, you read that right.
The second half was better, but not much. This was certainly a wake-up call for the blue and white. The defense is nonexistent and while the offense is efficient, they aren't exactly running like expected.
The regular season is ready to get underway as the Cats prepare to take on the Duke Blue Devils in Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night. Kentucky better put up a much better performance than they did tonight, or it’ll be a blowout on Tuesday.
Jacob Toppin earns the honor tonight in his first game action so far this preseason. Toppin made several big-time dunks, but most importantly, he defended at an incredibly high level when no one else would.
Toppin finished with 12 points, four rebounds, and one assist, while shooting 5-7 from the field. Toppin also had a +/- box score of +13, which was huge in this game.
Toppin is a very important piece for this team. He’s a matchup nightmare at the four and while he isn’t the best outside shooter, he’s freaky athletic and has a nice midrange jumper.
Toppin will be pivotal in the game against the Blue Devils as he’ll likely be tasked with guarding Paolo Banchero for the majority of the night. He could very well be the make-or-break on Tuesday night, and he certainly was on Friday night.
Shoutout to Sahvir Wheeler, though. He started the huge run for UK when they badly needed it and was extremely disruptive defensively. He really helped turn this game around.