Well, that was rough.
In Kentucky’s 80-73 loss to UNC Wilmington, freshman forward Aaron Bradshaw played 13 minutes and scored three points on one made field goal while hitting 1/2 free throws. He added two rebounds and one block in his debut.
On to Penn.
Finally, the debut of Aaron Bradshaw is here.
Before the Kentucky Wildcats’ matchup with UNC Wilmington, head coach John Calipari confirmed that Bradshaw would play vs. the Seahawks during a pregame radio interview. He also said the freshman forward should be able to play 10-15 minutes.
Adding to the good news, Calipari said that Ugonna Onyenso is on the verge of returning to practice. That would suggest the sophomore center should return to game action sometime in December or early January, so Kentucky could have two of its 7-footers back in time for SEC play.
On his pregame radio show with the UK Sports Network's Tom Leach, John Calipari confirms that Aaron Bradshaw will make his Kentucky debut today but DJ Wagner will not play due to injury suffered in Tuesday's win over Miami— Mark Story (@markcstory) December 2, 2023
Calipari tells UK Radio that "I watched Ugo today, he looked pretty good." Says Ugonna Onyenso is "probably days away" from being able to replicate Aaron Bradshaw's path back from injury to active status— Mark Story (@markcstory) December 2, 2023
The 7-foot-1, 226-pound Bradshaw was a consensus top-10 recruit in the 2023 class ranked as high as No. 2 overall at Rivals. However, he suffered a foot injury during the McDonald’s All-American Game that led to him undergoing surgery. That kept him sidelined until he finally started practicing in recent weeks, and now, his game debut will come.
As for Onyenso, the 7-foot, 247-pound big man suffered a foot injury during the GLOBL Jam that led to him also having surgery. He was believed to be a few weeks behind Bradshaw in terms of playing in games. Now that Bradshaw can play, it seems reasonable to think Onyenso will be back on the court soon enough.
Kentucky is coming off a dominant win over No. 8 Miami, so getting these bigs back will just give this team more firepower to have a special season.