Some important observations from Kentucky’s 156-63 exhibition romp over Asbury on Sunday night at Rupp Arena:
Wait a minute, who am I kidding? There’s nothing definitive you could really glean from a 93-point victory over an overmatched team that continued to play its running, trapping, three-point shooting style even though it knew that was a terrible recipe to try and keep it close with the pre-season No. 2-ranked team in the country.
Give Asbury coach Will Shouse credit for sticking to his guns. He believes his team can win its league with a running, trapping style of play. The only way to get better at that style is to play that style. Shouse wasn’t going to change that just because Asbury was playing Kentucky.
“I don’t blame coach, this is how they play,” UK coach John Calipari said.
So let’s break this up into some notes:
▪ Calipari was happy with Bam Adebayo’s energy. The freshman made four of five shots, scored nine points, grabbed six rebounds and blocked two shots in just 15 minutes.
▪ Mychal Mulder scored 20 points and had the dunk of the night. Mulder also had 11 rebounds.
▪ Kentucky shot 70 percent the first half and 68.8 percent for the game. Given that UK was six-of-19 from three, the Cats were 60-of-77 from two-point range for 77.9 percent.
▪ Asbury shot 22.7 percent for the game, including 16.3 percent from three-point range. It made eight of 49 three-point shots. Shouse said his goal was to get off 50 three-pointers.
▪ Kentucky scored 88 points in the first half to lead 88-25.
▪ With 9:23 left, Kentucky led by 100 points at 135-35.
▪ Freshman guard De’Aaron Fox had 25 points and four steals in just 17 minutes.
▪ Asbury turned it over 24 times.
▪ Kentucky scored 116 points in the paint.
▪ UK had 60 fast-break points to two for Asbury.
▪ The Cats had 29 dunks. Asked for his favorite, Calipari said, “I wasn’t watching.”
▪ After 11 assists in the exhibition win over Clarion, Isaiah Briscoe had seven assists
▪ Isaac Humphries had 12 rebounds in 13 minutes.
Stephen F. Austin at Kentucky
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Where: Rupp Arena in Lexington
TV: SEC Network
AP pre-season college basketball poll
6. North Carolina
12. Michigan State
17. Saint Mary's
20. West Virginia
23. Rhode Island
24. Iowa State