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Kentucky Rolls in Exhibition

The Kentucky Wildcats got their NCAA title defense off to a fin start in their exhibition opener Thursday against Northwood with a 93-61 win. Kentucky’s new crop of freshmen were impressive in their Big Blue debuts. Archie Goodwin had 22 points, Nerlens Noel added 17 and Alex Poythress chipped in 11 as Kentucky had an easy time of it. Noel also had 11 rebounds and four blocked shots as he tries to take over the role vacated by the #1 pick in this season’s NBA Draft, Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Hornets. Sophomores also contributed on the night as Ryan Harrow scored 15 points and Kyle Wiltjer added 12 for the Kats. Harrow transferred from NC State and sat last season out due to transfer rules.

“We were better than I thought we’d be,” Wildcats coach John Calipari said. “We’re way away from where we need to be.” The Northwood team, from NAIA, is coached by former Villanova head coach Rollie Massimino, who won an NCAA Championship at Rupp Arena back in 1985 when his Wildcats shocked he college basketball world by beating Georgetown in the NCAA championship game. It was his first time back at Rupp since that night.

The Wildcats had 17 turnovers on the night, but that was to be expected with so many new players. Coach Cal used 12 different combinations of players on the night which also contributed to some of the miscues. “It’s early, and we’re going to make mistakes,” Noel said. “If we keep working hard in the gym, we’ll cut down those mistakes and really get to balling.”

Kentucky has one more exhibition game on Sunday, against Transylvania, before traveling to Brooklyn on Nov 9th to take on the Maryland Terrapins in the regular season opener.


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