Kentucky basketball regular season may be well over 100 days away, but their exhibition schedule in Canada begins this. The Wildcats will face Germany today at 1:35 PM ET. They’ll then face Canada tomorrow and Africa on Saturday before playing in either a “Gold Medal” game or “Bronze Medal” game on Sunday. All game times can be found here.
Like any pre-season exhibition trip, this is an excellent chance for a newly constructed roster to build chemistry and have a chance to play against players other than themselves.
Kentucky has a healthy mix of highly-touted freshmen, a few returning “veterans” and West Virginia transfer Tre Mitchell. However, after an apparent ankle injury on Tuesday, it’s unlikely sophomore Ugonna Onyenso sees much playing time (if any at all) this week.
The Onyenso news is definitely something to be concerned about. He and Aaron Bradshaw are Kentucky’s two big men over 6-10. Now, with both players out due to injury, it’ll be quite interesting to see what type of lineups John Calipari puts together on short notice.
When taking a look at Kentucky’s roster, you’ll notice they’ll be forced into a lot of small-ball lineups this week. That’s concerning for someone like Tre Mitchell getting in foul trouble, but it’s simply all Kentucky has to work with. Adou Thiero, Antonio Reeves, DJ Wagner, Joey Hart, Jordan Burks, Justin Edwards, Reed Sheppard, Rob Dillingham and Mitchell are the only scholarships not injured at the moment. Only Burks and Mitchell are over 6-8.
One player to watch will be Thiero. Considering how talented Kentucky’s backcourt is this season, Thiero’s opportunities may very well come in small-ball lineups at the small forward or power forward positions. That sounds like a lot to ask for a 6-6 guard, but Thiero was saying just last week how he wants to improve his rebounding and be a much more physical player this season.
Let us know what you’re looking to see from the Wildcats this week and, specifically, today against Germany.
Tweet of the Day
Some bad news that Onyenso hurt his ankle during the scrimmage and had to be helped off the floor. No word on whether he will play the rest of the weekend— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) July 11, 2023
(Pic from KSR listener who found their way into the scrimmage) pic.twitter.com/POxiSVjwF3
Prayers that this isn’t a major injury.
Not good at all.
What do you want to see from the Wildcats?
UK’s backcourt could be elite.
What does this mean for the Saints?
They’re pretty loaded.
The Sean Payton impact.