UK Men's Basketball

Notes: Hood, Miller impress Cal in exhibition

Kentucky's Jon Hood, left, and Darius Miller put defensive pressure on Western Ontario's Greg Edelsward in the first half of the Wildcats' victory in the second game of an exhibition series at the University of Windsor in Canada.
Kentucky's Jon Hood, left, and Darius Miller put defensive pressure on Western Ontario's Greg Edelsward in the first half of the Wildcats' victory in the second game of an exhibition series at the University of Windsor in Canada.

WINDSOR, Ontario — Kentucky Coach John Calipari saw improved play from veterans Darius Miller and Jon Hood in the 95-62 victory over Windsor Sunday night.

Calipari said Miller's decision-making was "way better." Miller made four three-pointers and scored 18 points. His busy stat line included 12 rebounds, four assists, two blocks and a steal.

Perhaps the game's no-foul-out rule helped Miller. He picked up two fouls inside the first five minutes and added a third at the 9:13 mark of the first half. Yet he played a team-high 34 minutes.

When asked if the no-foul-out rule helped him, Miller said, "Oh, definitely. ... You can't foul out. You can pretty much play as aggressively as you want."

Hood had a busy stat line, too, with nine points, six rebounds, four assists and four steals. "He was not as anxious," Calipari said.

'In Kentucky?'

A relatively meaningless exhibition aside, the UK fans made their displeasure with the referees known.

The first boos came 16 seconds into the game when Hood drove into hard contact and there was no call. The fans booed two other calls or non-calls inside the first 14 minutes. In all three instances, the boos were mild, almost polite expressions of displeasure.

That changed with 1:40 left in the first half when Windsor's Josh Collins tried for a steal as Doron Lamb caught an outlet pass. Lamb could not avoid contact with Collins, but was called for walking. This brought a more full-throated booing.

Said Isaac Kuon, who led Windsor in scoring with 19 points: "I thought, where am I? Am I in Kentucky?"

UK vs. Ohio State

Ohio State drilled Windsor by a similar margin in an exhibition last season. So which opponent impressed Windsor guard Monty Hardware more: UK or Ohio State?

"They were veterans," Hardware said of the Buckeyes. "They were more like tic-tac-toe. They knew exactly what they were doing. There wasn't as much chaos."

Intimate setting

Kentucky fans who attend UK's games in Windsor are getting an up close view of the Cats. The site of the games, the St. Denis Athletic & Community Center on the University of Windsor campus, seats about 2,000.

Windsor Associate Athletics Director Mike Havey said that the school could have used a downtown civic arena, the Windsor Family Credit Union Center, which seats about 6,500, if the exhibition games were played at another time.

But UK Coach John Calipari asked for the Aug. 15-17 dates for the games. Those dates conflicted with the Dodge Rodeo & Family Roundup that ended a three-day run Sunday evening.

Successful trip

Whatever happens in the final two games of this exhibition series, Calipari seemed to proclaim the experience a success.

Besides the 10 extra days of practice (no small thing with a freshman-oriented team), Calipari noted that the trip will cost only $35,000.

"Think of the national TV (exposure)," he said. "That's six hours of an infomercial for our university. Usually that (costs) $12 million."

Western Ontario impressed

After watching UK beat Windsor, Western Ontario Coach Brad Campbell came away impressed.

"Kentucky is an athletic, dynamic team," he wrote in an e-mail. "Hopefully we can limit their penetration and get back in transition."

Western Ontario, which hopes to return to national championship contention after a transition year last season, plays UK Monday night.

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