Calipari says 2019 will be a breakout year for returning players
On Tuesday, Kentucky announced the remaining opponents on its 2019-20 non-conference men’s basketball schedule with the exception of one. The matchup for UK’s road game in the SEC-Big 12 Challenge on Jan. 25, 2020, has not yet been revealed.
UK said it will play four home games in what it bills as the BBN Showcase. Those four games are against Utah Valley on Nov. 18, Mount St. Mary’s on Nov. 22, Lamar on Nov. 24 and UAB on Nov. 29. The Wildcats will host Georgia Tech of the Atlantic Coast Conference on Dec. 14.
Previously announced non-conference games include neutral-site matchups against Michigan State (Madison Square Garden), Ohio State (Las Vegas) and Utah (Las Vegas) and UK’s annual rivalry game against Louisville in Rupp Arena on Dec. 28.
The rest of the home non-conference schedule has games against Eastern Kentucky on Nov. 8, Evansville on Nov. 12 and Fairleigh Dickinson on Dec. 7.
Utah Valley’s first-year coach is Mark Madsen, who played for Stanford against Kentucky in the 1998 Final Four. He scored 11 points and grabbed 16 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to prevent an 86-85 overtime victory for UK in the national semifinals.
Former UK player Mark Pope left Utah Valley after last season to become coach at Brigham Young.
UAB holds the distinction of being the only opponent on the 2019-20 schedule that leads the series with Kentucky. The last meeting between the schools — a 79-76 victory in Freedom Hall on Dec. 15, 2007 — gave UAB a 3-2 record against Kentucky.
Notes of interest include Georgia Tech being coached by Josh Pastner, who was a John Calipari assistant at Memphis during the 2008-09 season, and four of UK’s 12 non-conference opponents making last season’s NCAA Tournament.
As part of the deal to bring Georgia Tech to Rupp Arena this season, UK will play the Yellow Jackets Nov. 27, 2020, at State Farm Arena in Atlanta in the Holiday Hoopsgiving.
The SEC and Big 12 have not yet announced matchups for their annual conference challenge, but Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports reported Tuesday night that the Cats’ opponent would be Texas Tech, with the game being played in Lubbock. Texas Tech played in the Final Four last season.
UK’s preseason schedule includes Big Blue Madness on Oct. 11, the Blue-White Game on Oct. 18 and exhibition games against defending NAIA national champion Georgetown College on Oct. 27 and Kentucky State on Nov. 1.
UK’s home opponents in Southeastern Conference play are Florida, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Auburn, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi State, Missouri and Ole Miss.
The full Southeastern Conference schedule will be announced at a later date.
Season ticket renewals for the 2019-20 season are now available. Fans interested in buying new tickets must enter the men’s basketball ticket lottery online.
More ticket information is available at UKAthletics.com/tickets.
2019-20 UK 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
Nov. 18: UTAH VALLEY-2
Nov. 22: MOUNT ST. MARY’S-2
Nov. 24: LAMAR-2
Nov. 29: UAB-2
Dec. 7: FAIRLEIGH DICKINSON
Dec. 14: GEORGIA TECH
Dec. 18: Utah-3
Dec. 21: Ohio State-4
Dec. 28: LOUISVILLE
Jan. 25: At opponent TBA-5
1-Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York; 2-BBN Showcase at Rupp Arena; 3-At T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas; 4-CBS Sports Classic at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas; 5-SEC-Big 12 Challenge; x-Exhibition game.