Despite losing five of its top players from last season's rotation, including two All-America players, Kentucky coach John Calipari has turning last year's team into a thing of the past with this year's recruiting class. The Wildcats had a three-game, three-day exhibition series in Canada, pitting Kentucky against University of Windsor twice and Western (Ontario) University.
Two key players were missing in action- Enes Kanter, one of the top rated big men in this year's recruiting class, and Eloy Vargas, a transfer from Florida. Kanter is awaiting NCAA clearance, while Vargas missed the exhibition with academic issues.
In the series' opening matchup against University of Windsor, Brandon Knight, the leading candidate to replace John Wall, an All-American guard and the NBA's No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft, kicked off his college career with a game-high 31 points. Two months before official practice even begins, Knight is showing his potential. Kentucky defeated the Canadian University 95-62. The team's lone returning major contributor, Darius Miller recorded a game-high 12 rebounds to go along with 18 points on 4-of-5 shooting from behind the arc.
Highly touted forward, Terrence Jones, left in the first half of the opening game win with a rib injury. MRI results showed a stress fracture of his rib, which caused throbbing shoulder pain for Jones. He is expected to join team and individual workouts in a month.
Using just eight players, none taller than 6'7", the Wildcats used a full-court press to turn an eleven-point halftime differential into a 28-point blowout. Five players scored double-figures for Kentucky, led by freshman guard Doron Lamb (24 points) and Darius Miller (20). Brandon Knight finished with 17 points and 12 assists.
In the third and final game of the series, Kentucky won the rematch with the University of Windsor in decisive fashion- 104-75. Freshmen guards, Brandon Knight and Doron Lamb were impressive yet again, as Knight recorded a game-high 27 points to go along with 9 assists, while Lamb scored 23 on 3-of-4 shooting from 3-point range. Darius Miller rarely missed, shooting 10-for-12 from the field, scoring 24 points in just 29 minutes of play.
Brandon Knight averaged 25 points and 8.3 assists in the three game series, Darius Miller was the second-leading scorer with 20.7 points, while freshman Doron Lamb scored 17.7 points per contest. We expect Enes Kanter and Terrence Jones to lock-down the remaining two starting spots and have a tremendous impact for the Wildcats.