UK Men's Basketball

UK goes local with exhibition opponents going into 2019-20 season

Calipari says 2019 will be a breakout year for returning players

Kentucky men's basketball head coach John Calipari responds to the return of Ashton Hagans, Nick Richards, and EJ Montgomery to the team.
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Kentucky men's basketball head coach John Calipari responds to the return of Ashton Hagans, Nick Richards, and EJ Montgomery to the team.

For opponents in exhibition games going into the 2019-20 season, Kentucky plans to go local. Both opposing teams will travel less than 50 miles round-trip to play UK.

Kentucky will play Georgetown College on Oct. 27 and Kentucky State on Nov. 1. Those exhibition games, which will tip off at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively, will be televised by the SEC Network, UK announced Thursday.

UK also filled out its preseason schedule by announcing that Big Blue Madness will be Oct. 11 (starting at 7 p.m.) and the annual Blue-White Game will be Oct. 18 (also starting at 7 p.m.).

Madness and the games will give UK fans a feel for the renovated Rupp Arena. Chair-back seating is being installed in the upper arena above both sidelines during this off-season. The new seating will reduce capacity from 23,500 to 20,500, UK officials have said.

Kentucky’s regular-season schedule will begin with a bang. UK opens the season against Michigan State in Madison Square Garden as part of the State Farm Champions Classic.

UK earlier announced regular-season games against Eastern Kentucky (Nov. 8), Evansville (No. 12) and two games in Las Vegas: against Utah on Dec. 18 and Ohio State on Dec. 21. The latter is part of the CBS Sports Classic.

Georgetown College won the 2019 NAIA Division I national championship. The Tigers are coached by Chris Briggs, who worked with UK’s program as a student manager (2001-04) and graduate assistant (2004-06). He is a two-time NAIA Coach of the Year.

Kentucky State had a record of 13-14 last season.

Ticket information for the two exhibition games, the Blue-White Game and Big Blue Madness will be announced at a later date, UK said.

2019-20 UK basketball schedule

Games and events officially scheduled at this point (home games in all capital letters):

Oct. 11: BIG BLUE MADNESS, 7 p.m.

Oct. 18: BLUE-WHITE SCRIMMAGE, 7 p.m.

Oct. 27: GEORGETOWN COLLEGE, 5 p.m.-x

Nov. 1: KENTUCKY STATE, 7 p.m.-x

Nov. 5: Michigan State-1

Nov. 8: EASTERN KENTUCKY

Nov. 12: EVANSVILLE

Dec. 18: Utah-2

Dec. 21: Ohio State-3

1-Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York; 2-At T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas; 3-CBS Sports Classic at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas; x-Exhibition game.

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