Three away games, one common opponent: Themselves.
That's sort of how Coach John Calipari characterized the upcoming week for the Kentucky Wildcats.
"The biggest thing is will we play the way we have to play for us to win," Calipari said after the Cats beat Marist 108-58 Friday. " ... Will guys play for numbers or play for us? I really think we'll be fine. I just don't know if we're ready to play a team like Kansas."
UK plays No. 13 Kansas on Tuesday in Madison Square Garden. The Cats play in Connecticut on Saturday against Penn State and Sunday against either Old Dominion or South Florida.
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The opening-night victory over Marist sent a mixed message.
"You just saw the first half," Calipari told reporters. "You had to walk away saying, maybe he's right."
That was a reference to Calipari's repeated claim that many teams, maybe 100, could beat No. 2 Kentucky.
"Then you see the second half and say, 'Well, they can beat anybody,'" Calipari said. "What about the first half? What if we play two halves that way? Anybody in the country can beat us."
Calipari never said so, but the comment about playing for numbers seemed to be directed at freshman point guard Marquis Teague.
In the exhibitions, Teague looked like the quintessential point guard. His 16 assists and four turnovers led Calipari to proclaim him ahead of such celebrated predecessors as John Wall and Brandon Knight.
But Calipari used the word "reverting" to describe Teague's regular-season debut Friday night against Marist.
"He was trying to make hero's plays to get oohs and ahhs from the crowd," the UK coach said.
Teague finished with three turnovers in 27 minutes, or just one less than in two exhibition games.
"He had two in four minutes: cross-court passes with guys wide open in the corners," Calipari said. "And he held on to the ball too long. ...
"That's what happens when you start getting away from how we're playing and reverting a little bit."
Calipari said he scolded Teague.
"I told him, 'Hey, I've coached point guards before,'" Calipari said with a hint of sarcasm. "And the ones that listen to me do fine. So just listen to what I'm saying and stop arguing with me, and just do what I'm asking you to do."
Only the day before, Calipari noted how Teague had shown a pass-first mentality. Against Marist, Teague took 12 shots. Only fellow freshman Anthony Davis took more with 13.
To explain the contrast, Calipari said, "Because it's real and it's television and it's the first time in this environment. 'My first game out of the gate' and he lost his mind a little bit."
In assessing the difference between halves, Calipari noted how Darius Miller ran hard on a play later in the game. "Why not start the game that way?" the UK coach said in echoing an all-too-familiar appraisal of the senior from Maysville.
Miller suggested he got lulled into a false sense of confidence by the 125-40 demolition of Morehouse in an exhibition earlier in the week.
"I have to do a better job of getting ready and respecting the opponent," he said. "I think I got caught up in the last game. I can't do that being a leader."
Marist made half its first-half shots. Repeatedly, the Red Foxes drove past a defender and got to the rim.
"It seemed like if it wasn't our man, we didn't worry about it," Miller said of UK's infrequent help defense.
Marist stayed close, in part, by spreading the floor and driving against UK defenders.
"We didn't stay down, we didn't stunt, we didn't help," Calipari said of the first-half defense. "A lot of ugly stuff."
Of UK's 63-22 second-half pounding of his team, Marist Coach Chuck Martin said, "The No. 2 team in the country showed up."
That's the team Calipari wants to see this week and this season.