UK hammers Clarion 108-51 in exhibition game

Bam Adebayo slams one home against Clarion. (Photo by Brendon Miller)
Bam Adebayo slams one home against Clarion. (Photo by Brendon Miller)

UK Exhibition vs Clarion 10-30-16

Starting off for UK and the 2016-2017 Season, Fox, Adebayo, Briscoe, Gabriel and Willis. UK starts of a little slow with an early 11-7 lead, led by Willis with 5 Gabriel with 4 and Fox chipping in with 2. Clarion showed press early but Fox beat it easily by outrunning the defense. With Fox handling the ball, teams will be hard pressed to put any pressure on UK.

UK comes out of timeout and gives up a quick 3 but then turns on defense with consecutive steals and  layups  by Adebayo and Hawkins. Kentuckys’ speed is impressive and appears they actually like playing defense. UK a little sloppy but it is to be expected this time of year. The Cats are up 28-16 at the 8:00 minute mark.  The Cats have balanced scoring led by Adebayo with 6, Willis 5, Humphries and Gabriel with 4 a piece, Monk with 3, Jones, Hawkins and Fox with 2 each. UK is shooting 56.3 while Clarion is shooting  35.3%.

UK goes in to the 4 minute timeout leading 40-20. Calipari and Wynyard both make an appearance out of the time out. UK has played just about everyone on the team and has been tenacious on defense and very balanced on offense. Mulder and Calipari are the only players yet to score. UK has quietly opened a 24 point lead. Kentucky rolls to a halftime lead of 48-22.

UK starts second half with a three pointer by Gabriel to give UK a commanding 29 point lead. Right now the Wildcats are working on a lot of different matchups and defenses. This is the time of the year where you start working on little pays and build from there. Press Offense and zone match ups. UK will see a lot of zone defenses until they can show teams they can score from outside. Once the zone is softened up then UK will be able to pound the ball in to Adebayo, Jones and Humphries. So far tonight UK has shown balance inside and out.

UK cruises to a 108 – 51 victory behind a well distributed scoring effort by the Cats. Monk led the way with 15 followed closely by Adebayo and Willis with 13 each. Also contributing for the Wildcats were Fox and Jones with 12 and Briscoe with 11. Gabriel had 9, WynYard, Humphries and Calipari with 6. Hawkins finished the scoring with 5. David, Mulder and Pulliam played but did not score. UK finished hitting 61.1% while Clarion shot 30 percent. UK had 51 rebounds, 14 by Adebayo, while Clarion had 28 boards. Briscoe had 11 of UK’s 29 assists and Fox had 7. UK will hit the floor next Sunday in their final exhibition game against Asbury, Sunday November 6th at 7:00pm

Kentucky Men’s Basketball, Clarion at Kentucky – Rupp Arena, Lexington, Ky., Oct. 30, 2016 – Attendance: 20,099 

FINAL SCORE: Kentucky 108, Clarion 51

  • This was the first of Kentucky’s two exhibition games this season.
  • Kentucky is 56-4 all-time in exhibition contests and has won 27 in a row, including 15-0 under Coach John Calipari.
    • This is the second time that UK has played Clarion in an exhibition. Calipari is a 1982 graduate of the school.
  • Kentucky returns to the court next Sunday as the Wildcats play host to Asbury. The game is at 7 p.m. and will be televised on the SEC Network.
  • The regular season tips off Fri. Nov. 11 as UK hosts Stephen F. Austin.
  • This was Clarion’s only exhibition game. The Golden Eagles tip off their season Nov. 11 at Fairmont State.

First-Half Facts

  • Kentucky’s starting lineup featured De’Aaron Fox, Isaiah Briscoe, Wenyen Gabriel, Derek Willis and Bam Adebayo.
  • Kentucky tallied the first four points of the game and never trailed.
  • Ahead 28-17, Kentucky closed the half with a 20-5 run for a 48-22 advantage at intermission.

Second-Half Story

  • Kentucky eclipsed the century mark with 3:39 remaining on a dunk by Adebayo, making the score 101-45.
  • Brad Calipari closed the Kentucky scoring with a pair of 3-pointers, giving UK had its largest lead of 57 points at the final buzzer, 108-51.

Player Notes  

  • Kentucky had balanced scoring with six Wildcats in double figures, including Malik Monk with 15 points, Bam Adebayo and Derek Willis with 13 apiece, De’Aaron Fox and Sacha Killeya-Jones with 12 each and Isaiah Briscoe with 11.
  • Adebayo had a double-double with 13 points and 14 rebounds.
  • Briscoe also had a double-double with 11 points and 11 assists.  The 11 assists would have been a career high for him had this been an official game.
  • Senior guard B.J. Andrews led Clarion with 16 points, including four 3-pointers.

Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari

Q. I think a lot of us were surprised – and Clarion’s coach said he was surprised – that Malik (Monk) didn’t start. He obviously played well.
JOHN CALIPARI: I wanted to — look, if I played those three together, the front line rotation was going to be screwed up. So I did what I did.

Q. That layup with about five minutes into the second half with those three guards and Bam (Adebayo) and (Isaac) Humphries really looked —
JOHN CALIPARI: I got to watch it on tape.

Q. They played well together.
JOHN CALIPARI: Yeah, Isaac was out there — come on, Coach. Greg White called the first play of the game. It didn’t work. He called the lob.

Q. Your friend, Coach Marcess Williams at Clarion, said the sky’s the limit, we’ll see these guys at the Final Four. Talking about you guys.
JOHN CALIPARI: It’s really early. I told them after, the one thing that I was happy about with Clarion, athletically, they could hang with us. They had speed enough to hang with us, they had quickness enough to hang with us, and they were physical.

They weren’t as big, so we got a bunch of easy baskets. But I told my team, if we give up nine 3s in a league game, we will lose. And you know we’re pretty — that’s our thing, we’re not giving up 3s. They made nine 3s. They had three out of bounds plays where they threw right by people for layups.

So, and they weren’t afraid now. They played, they were talking, they’re — I was really looking at them saying, “They were a little more athletic than when I played there, Coach D.” We played a 1-3-1 and I played on the back line and I said, “Why am I back here?” He said, “Because you don’t have to guard anybody. Just go guard the guy in the corner.”

Q. First time out, how well did they defend and get out in transition the way you guys wanted to play?
JOHN CALIPARI: We had 29 assists to 15 turns. So for the first time out of the gate — but you got Derek (Willis) as a veteran, Dom(inique Hawkins) is a veteran, Isaiah Briscoe — and Isaiah was outstanding. He was five assists, one turn at half, and I looked at it, I called him, I said, “Come here. Score the ball, man. You’re going to score the ball for us. If they go under pick and roll shoot it. If there’s an inside out 3 and you don’t take it …” He says, “I got you.” So he comes out in the second half and — I don’t see his numbers here, but what did he have at half? One? Yeah, so he has 10 points in the second half and he, and in 22 minutes scores 11. I mean, he is the key to the team. And the greatest thing is it’s kind of like having John (Wall) and Eric Bledsoe, you got two point guards with he and De’Aaron Fox. But it was — again, we got to defend better, we got to defend the 3 better. But I like that we ran our stuff. Now we didn’t run it all, we just, we really narrowed what we were going to do and limited, there were a couple things that we had been working on that I said we weren’t doing. We didn’t do anything on the out of bounds, really, so.

Q. How quick do you want your team to get the ball down the court. You said at the coach’s clinic yesterday that within five seconds you would be fine if a shot went up?
JOHN CALIPARI: Well here’s what happened today and this is old school. We bypassed the point guard and threw it over his head up the court and that guy shot a layup or a dunk. So as I watched it I said, “You know what, maybe we focus on that. If I can get it ahead, I’m throwing it to half court. If I can’t throw it to half court, I’ll get the point guard looping.” Like he can loop. But if Isaiah or Malik are ahead, throw it right over the top to them. If that team runs wide and we loop, De’Aaron Fox has the middle of the court. I like the fact that they trapped us, I like the fact that they showed heart and trapped on some pick and rolls. It’s a hard matchup, we, what bothered me in the first four minutes, we didn’t post the ball. Come on. You can’t start a game shooting all jump shots. Post the ball. And as the game went on I thought we did a good job.

Q. Clarion’s coach said his favorite was probably Wenyen Gabriel and he might be the best of them all. Why do you think he says that?
JOHN CALIPARI: Motor. Every coach likes a guy with a motor and the kid’s motor — I tell you who else is really good, Sacha (Killeya-Jones). He’s really good. Wenyen, Derek, Isaac, you got those guys with size who can play fours and fives and threes. And you got those guards and they — Dom, I thought Dom was outstanding. Dom on the ball guarding and he went after one steal, gave up a basket or fronted or did something. But I thought that Dom was good today.

Q. And then what was it like to sit there and hear the crowd roar, not once but twice, for your son?
JOHN CALIPARI: Well, I had my back to the first one and I kind of just turned and saw him shoot it and it went in and I was happy for him. And then the second one, which was kind of a lucky one, but he had the courage to try to shoot it. And I may even get a kiss from my wife tonight.

Q. You talked a lot about your players. What Clarion player opened your eyes?
JOHN CALIPARI: Well, number 0 (BJ Andrews) was making shots and 3s, the little point guard is quick and fast and not afraid. And again, I don’t know all their names. Who is the kid making the layups? Who was making the layups on us? Driving. Cameron Grumley. Not afraid to play. These are all seniors and juniors, they got a veteran kind of team. He was good. And then they fought. They weren’t afraid. I hope this was a great experience for them, that — it’s funny, I walk in this building and we’re playing an exhibition game, and I look in the upper deck and I’m like, “These people are crazy.” And only behind us, where there were some students, which we should sell the tickets, forget it, students you got to get here. But that was it. That was the only part of the building that had any emptiness. And for those kids to walk in and see it, I would hope they would say, this is what I live for, doing this in front of this many people. And sometimes we take it for granted here that — and let me say this to the Rupp Arena people and the group that — the scoreboard, the ribbon board, I mean, it’s like a new arena. Sounds different. Looks different. The videos. It just presents the game even better. It really does.

Q. Can you talk about the balanced scoring attack? Six almost seven players in double figures.
JOHN CALIPARI: Well, I like the fact that we had 29 assists and everybody had some opportunities. But again, it starts with Isaiah Briscoe, and he’s coaching De’Aaron Fox, he’s coaching these guys, he’s talking, if you listen, you hear his voice more than you even hear mine, which is perfect, which is what I want. But it starts with him. But again, he made the 3, makes the free throw. Come on. And that, when you think of his game, if that’s who he is, make some 15-footers, he’s as good as anybody in the country now. He’s as physical, he’s a beast. And he defends and rebounds.