A look at UK's non-conference opponents

November 6, 2011 

Coach Tom Crean, who is 28-66 entering his fourth year at Indiana, returns 93 percent of his offensive production from last season, when the Hoosiers went 12-20.


Coach: Chuck Martin (17-79 in three seasons at Marist)

Outlook: Four starters return from a team that went 6-27 last season. None averaged double-digit points. ... Three regular contributors transferred after last season. ... Marist is picked to finish last in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.


Coach: Bill Self (237-46 in eight seasons at Kansas)

Outlook: Kansas has won seven straight Big 12 titles and averaged 33 victories the last five seasons. ... Only fourth-year veteran point guard Tyshawn Taylor returns among last season's starters. ... Thomas Robinson is a candidate for Big 12 Player of the Year. Three times last season, he posted double-doubles despite playing less than 20 minutes. ... Freshman class did not wow scouting services. ... Departure of twins Marcus and Markieff Morris makes front-court depth questionable. ...Brutal non-conference schedule includes Maui Invitational, plus games against Ohio State and Southern Cal as well as Kentucky.

Penn State

Coach: Patrick Chambers (first season at Penn State)

Outlook: Chambers, a former Jay Wright assistant at Villanova, must replace four starters. Departed point guard Talor Battle, the program's career scoring leader, was an iconic player. ... Lone returning starter, Tim Frazier, averaged 6.3 points last season. He did score 22 against Michigan State in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals. ... Besides Frazier, only three other returnees played in at least half of Penn State's games last season.

Old Dominion

Coach: Blaine Taylor (215-110 in 10 seasons at Old Dominion)

Outlook: Leading scorer and rebounder Frank Hassell is gone. Top returnee and conference Defensive Player of the Year, guard Kent Bazemore, is not expected to play until December after undergoing surgery to repair a stress fracture in a foot in August. ... Four of last season's top five scorers are gone. ODU led the Colonial Athletic Association in points allowed (58.4 per game) last season.

South Florida

Coach: Stan Heath (51-77 in five seasons at South Florida)

Outlook: Six of top seven scorers return from a team that went 10-23 last season. Fifteen losses came by a margin of nine points or less. ... Augustus Gilchrist averaged 19.5 points in the last six games. ... Since joining the league, South Florida has a 23-81 Big East record. ... Dismissal of Anthony Crater creates void at point guard. ... Freshman Tolulope "Jordan" Omogbehin (7-3, 291) and junior-college transfer Andre Jackson (6-10, 285) provide size. ... Renovations to the Sun Dome will have South Florida playing games at different off-site locations.


Coach: Mike Jones (first season at Radford)

Outlook: Radford did not win a road game in compiling a 5-24 record last season. Only two victories were against Division I teams. ... Former Coach Brad Greenberg resigned in the wake of an NCAA investigation into improper benefits provided 6-8 forward Masse Doumbe, who has yet to be declared eligible. ... Jones was an assistant at VCU, and formerly worked for Dennis Felton at Georgia and John Beilein at Richmond.


Coach: Eric Reveno (77-81 in five seasons at Portland)

Outlook: Portland played UK competitively last season, but gone are all-league center Luke Sikma (son of Jack Sikma) and perimeter shooter Jared Stohl. ... All-league guard Nemanja Mitrovic and point guard Tim Douglas return. ... Of all players, only Mitrovic has more than one season of college experience. ... Big hopes on freshman Thomas van der Mars, a 6-11 native of The Netherlands.

St. John's

Coach: Steve Lavin (21-12 in one season at St. John's)

Outlook: Junior point guard Malik Stith is the only player to start a Division I game. He started once last season. ... Nine seniors departed as did transfer DeWayne Polee II. That represented 96.3 percent of the scoring last season. ... Lavin recruited a top-five freshman class, then added Junior College All-American God's Gift Achiuwa. ... SirDominic Pointer gives St. John's another name player. ... Of the freshmen, post man Norvel Pelle (a five-star recruit who is ineligible for the first semester), forward Maurice Harkless (likened to Ray Allen) and guard D'Angelo Harrison figure to get a chance to show what they can do.

North Carolina

Coach: Roy Williams (225-62 in eight seasons at North Carolina)

Outlook: All five starters return from a 29-8 team. The entire front court of Harrison Barnes, Tyler Zeller and John Henson bypassed the NBA Draft to return. ... McDonald's All-American freshmen James McAdoo and P.J. Hairston add to existing depth. ... Kendall Marshall's elevation to starting point guard coincided with 17-3 mark to end season. Still, questionable depth at point guard. ... Achilles' heel might be three-point shooting (32.8 percent last season). ... Final Four is in New Orleans, where Dean Smith won national titles in 1982 and 1993.


Coach: Tom Crean (28-66 in three seasons at Indiana)

Outlook: Indiana returns 93.4 percent of its scoring from last season. ... Freshman Cody Zeller (younger brother of Tyler and Luke) creates excitement. Verdell Jones III becomes first four-year scholarship player in Crean's tenure. ... Maurice Creek, who was leading all freshmen in scoring before getting hurt two years ago, must stay healthy. ... Christian Watford and Jordan Hulls return as capable scorers.


Coach: John Shulman (120-105 in seven seasons at Chattanooga)

Outlook: Four senior starters return, which makes Chattanooga a favorite to win the Southern Conference. ... Sophomore Zacchaeus Mason spent the last two seasons playing tight end for Ole Miss. ... Forward Omar Wattad is a transfer from Georgetown. ... Keegan Bell is billed as one of the conference's top point guards. Emmanuel Ochenje and Lance Stokes lead the freshman class.


Coach: Jimmy Tillette (218-200 in 14 seasons at Samford)

Outlook: Guard Jeffrey Merritt is only returnee with double-digit scoring average. ... Samford, which used a Princeton-style attack, ranked No. 308 in scoring (61.1 ppg) last season. ... Samford had five- and six-game losing streaks in the Southern Conference last season. ... All four incoming freshmen are guards.


Coach: Jimmy Patsos (98-104 in seven seasons at Loyola-Maryland)

Outlook: Patsos is still looking to guide Loyola-Maryland to a post-season tournament. ... Four starters, plus sixth man J'hared Hall, return from a 15-15 team. ... Anthony Winbush, Erik Etherly and 6-10 center Shane Walker lead veterans. Walker is the team's leading returning scorer (11.1 ppg).


Coach: Pat Knight (first season at Lamar)

Outlook: Seven players who started at least nine games last season return. ... Lamar led the Southland Conference in three-point shooting (36 percent accuracy). ... Mike James (12.5 ppg), Anthony Miles (11.9 ppg), Devon Lamb (9.5 ppg) and Brandon Davis (8.2 ppg) are veteran guards. ... Knight, the son of Bob Knight, will look to improve a defense that surrendered 102 points three times.


Coach: Rick Pitino (245-96 in nine seasons at Louisville)

Outlook: Louisville looks to be two or three deep at every position. Kyle Kuric (a 45 percent three-point shooter) volunteered to give up a scholarship. ... Jared Swopshire returns after missing last season. ... Peyton Siva led U of L in steals, assists and free throws last season. . . Chane Behanan heads freshman class after injury to Wayne Blackshear and eligibility questions about Kevin Ware ... Kuric, Siva and Chris Smith provide a veteran perimeter. ... U of L limited last nine opponents to 36 percent shooting. ... Big loss is guard Preston Knowles. ... Rakeem Buckles underwent ACL surgery in March.

Arkansas-Little Rock

Coach: Steve Shields (132-112 in eight seasons at Arkansas-Little Rock)

Outlook: Arkansas-Little Rock returns three starters from a team that earned the program's first NCAA Tournament bid since 1990. ... But among the five seniors departed is Solomon Bozeman, who was Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year in the regular season and post-season tournament. ... D'Andre Williams is one of the Sun Belt's top point guards. ... Shields needs two victories to become the program's winningest coach.

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