The Kentucky Wildcats came out against New Mexico State in their season opener on Monday with a rather “small” lineup. While the Wildcats managed to win 86-46, Kentucky only led by eight at halftime.
Head coach John Calipari elected to go with DJ Wagner, Antonio Reeves, Justin Edwards, Adou Thiero, and Tre Mitchell to start the game.
While all five of these players will likely have considerable amounts of playing time this season, the lineup was rather guard-heavy. That’s of course due to the unavailability of a few players that Calipari’s team is dealing with early on this season.
Aaron Bradshaw is still dealing with a foot injury and will likely remain out for at least the next few weeks, while Onyenso is about two weeks behind him. That would suggest both players could be practicing by the end of the month, though that doesn’t really tell us when they could actually play in games.
Zvonimir Ivisic warmed up with the team on Monday night, but the NCAA continues to review his eligibility. The UK coach had this to say following Monday night’s game.
Making matters worse for Big Z is he recently had a bout of food poisoning that caused significant weight loss, so that could slow his progress toward being physically ready for game action once he’s ruled eligible.
Calipari says Zvonimir Ivisic lost 10 pounds after his bout with food poisoning last week.— Ben Roberts (@BenRobertsHL) November 7, 2023
Cal says Aaron Bradshaw still 1-2 weeks away from being able to fully practice with the team. Ugonna Onyenso is about 2 weeks behind him.
Between these three players still not being able to play and the season now underway, it’s starting to become a significant concern for the Wildcats. But Monday night’s big win over the Aggies does build some confidence for the current lineup until one of these guys can make their return.
Oh, and Thiero had a “headache” that has him day-to-day. As if Kentucky’s frontcourt didn’t have enough issues to deal with.