- Time: 7 pm ET
- Date: November 11
- Location: Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky
- TV Channel: The SEC Network has tonight’s TV coverage.
- Announcers: Play-by play: Mike Morgan; Analyst: Mark Wise.
- Online Stream: WatchESPN, ESPN+, SEC Network+, or the ESPN app.
- Radio: Tom Leach and Jack Givens will have the UK radio network call on WLAP-AM 630, WBUL-FM 98.1, and the UK Sports Network.
- Replay: WatchESPN and SEC Network (check local listings).
- Rosters: UK | DU
- Stats To Know: UK | DU
- Team Sheets: UK | DU
- Live Stats
- Odds: Kentucky is currently a 19.5-point favorite in this one via DraftKings Sportsbook. ESPN’s matchup predictor gives the Wildcats a 95.2% chance of winning, KenPom gives them a 97% of getting the win, and Bart Torvik has it at 94%.
- Predictions: TeamRankings projects an 82-62 win for the Cats. KenPom is going with an 81-62 victory for Kentucky. Bart Torvik went with an 82-65 margin.
The Kentucky Wildcats got off to a great start on Monday, defeating Howard 95-63. Now, the focus turns to the Duquesne Dukes, who Kentucky will play on Friday night.
Compared to Howard (241st in KenPom), Duquesne (122nd in KenPom) will be a bit more of a challenge for the Wildcats, but who are they?
Duquesne University is based out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and plays in the Atlantic-10 conference. As for their program history, they did go to the Final Four in 1940 but have not been to the NCAA Tournament since 1977.
Starting this season 1-0, the Dukes enter the season on a high note but are projected to finish last place in the A-10, and finish .500 or worse for the third straight season.
Friday’s game will not be the first matchup between the Dukes and Wildcats, as they have faced off twice in the past (most recently in 2016), with Kentucky winning both games.
Now, let’s take a look at what to look for in this contest.
Can the offense keep its form?
Despite being short-handed in the last exhibition game and season opener, having just 8 scholarship players available, the Kentucky Wildcats have had back-to-back great offensive performances, scoring 111 and 95 points.
While another 95+ point performance shouldn’t be expected, a strong offensive game should be.
In his first collegiate game (on his birthday as well) on Monday, Cason Wallace looked like a natural at directing this offense, recording 9 assists but also playing within the offense to score 15 points himself.
Of course, it also helps to have CJ Fredrick and Antonio Reeves to pass to. The offensive duo have combined for 79 total points in their last two outings, as well as 16 of Kentucky’s 23 made threes.
Can the Wildcats keep it up?
Who will set themselves apart?
With Damion Collins, Oscar Tshiebwe, and Sahvir Wheeler all potentially out, this is a chance for several role players to go out on the court and play their way into more minutes.
John Calipari echoed as much in his postgame press conference on Monday.
“The greatest thing about this game and I believe next game is everybody’s getting minutes to show what they are. And if there’s any separation you’ll see it.”
This is another big game for Ugonna Onyenso, Adou Thiero, and Lance Ware to show what they can bring to this team.
When three of Kentucky’s seven best pieces come back into the lineup — which could happen as early as Michigan State on Tuesday — expect the rotations to be shortened, which makes this a very important game for Thiero, Onyenso and Ware.
Keep Dae Dae Grant in check
There have been countless opponents that have come into Rupp Arena and had the game of their lives, and the Dukes have a player that is coming off a career game, Dae Dae Grant.
In their opening game against Montana, Duquesne won 91-63 with Grant going for a game-high 25 points on a perfect shooting performance, including 6/6 from three.
While Duquesne, may not have a lot of explosive weapons, Grant will be one to keep in check, and I would assume Cason Wallace will be ready to make his night very tough.