Wildcats Slam Pikeville 116-68 in Exhibition Play

Game notes & Quotes provided by UK Athletics:

Pikeville at Kentucky (exhibition) – Rupp Arena, Lexington, Ky. – Nov. 2, 2014

FINAL SCORE: Kentucky 116, Pikeville 68

Pre-Game Celebration - Photo by Tammie Brown - Camen Media
Pre-Game Celebration – Photo by Tammie Brown – Camen Media

Team Records, Notes

• This was Kentucky’s first exhibition game of the season.

• Kentucky is 52-4 all-time in preseason exhibition games and has won 23 in a row.

• Pikeville has played one official game already, a 100-63 win over Grace Bible College. The Bears are picked as the preseason No. 2 team in NAIA Division I.

• Kentucky’s next exhibition game is Sunday Nov. 9 vs. Georgetown College at 7 p.m. at Rupp Arena. The Wildcats officially open the season Nov. 14 at home vs. Grand Canyon.

First-Half Facts

• Kentucky started with the lineup of Andrew Harrison, Aaron Harrison, Alex Poythress, Karl-Anthony Towns and Willie Cauley-Stein.

• Kentucky jumped out to a 7-0 lead and never trailed.

• Pikeville kept it close and trailed only 35-28 midway through the half when UK went on a 21-0 run to make it 56-28.

• UK went to halftime ahead 67-40 as all 10 Wildcats who played in the first half also scored.

UK had an easy night of it. Photo by Tammie Brown - Camen Media
UK had an easy night of it. Photo by Tammie Brown – Camen Media

Second-Half Story

• UK eclipsed the century mark, 101-60, on a layup by Dakari Johnson with 8:22 to play.

• UK’s largest lead was 49 points at 114-65.

• UK finished with a 116-68 victory.

Team Notes

• Kentucky shot 65.3 percent from the field.

• The Wildcats won the rebounding 49-28.

• UK piled up 29 assists, led by nine from Andrew Harrison.

• Six Wildcats scored in double figures although no player saw more than 20 minutes of action.

• Kentucky’s “second platoon” was comprised of Tyler Ulis, Devin Booker, Trey Lyles, Marcus Lee and Dakari Johnson.

Individual Notes

• Karl-Anthony Towns led the Wildcats with 22 points, including 10 of 11 from the field.

• Also tallying double figures were Devin Booker (16 points), Dakari Johnson (13), Alex Poythress (12), Trey Lyles (11) and Willie Cauley-Stein (10).

• K.K. Simmons of Pikeville led all scorers with 28 points, including 6 of 9 from 3-point range.

Pike fell behind early 7-0 and was never in it. Photo by Tammie Brown - Camen Media
Pikeville fell behind early 7-0 and was never in it. Photo by Tammie Brown – Camen Media

November 2, 2014

AN INTERVIEW WITH: JOHN CALIPARI

Q. What did you like the most?

JOHN CALIPARI: 29 assists – and in a game where guys could have tried to get their own, it’s the only way this will work if they really want to share for each 25 what we would call one ‘mores’. I have a shot, but he has a better shot, we need to let that one go. You know, we did not settle for 3’s in the first half, we just did what we had to do. I’ll tell you what, I’ve got to give it to them. They came out of the gate making shots and playing and they weren’t afraid. We were just too big. What I’m happy with is that because we were too big, we threw the ball where we should have, in the post.

Q. How do you settle on the two groups and what did you think of that tonight?

JOHN CALIPARI: I didn’t think Alex (Poythress) played as well as I thought he should have played in the Blue/ White. And as much as I didn’t want to put two young kids on one group, I thought it was better for Alex and Trey (Lyles), I thought it would be better for him, too. Trey is still behind. Trey wasn’t doing it for the summer he didn’t do the Bahamas. He is just starting. So, he’s still a little bit behind and you see he’s still pretty good. But he stepped in the hole a few times because he ran up‐and‐down, got tired and went to jump and just stepped in a hole. He didn’t jump very high. So, then he dunked that last one. I left him in because I just wanted him to make some plays and shots. I thought Andrew (Harrison) was ridiculous. Andrew wanted Dominique (Hawkins) to shoot that. He wanted 10 assists. He threw that ball crosscourt and Dom was wide open. “Shoot it.” And he passed it to Alex, who made the shot. And he had nine assists, and I’m guessing four hockey assists. In other words, he threw it ahead quick enough for that I could throw it for a pass. So he was outstanding today.

Q. Speaking of communication in the first half, there was one time when Tyler threw the ball into Dakari (Johnson). He went over a double team, and I heard Tyler shout out, coming from behind. I don’t remember ever hearing that kind of communication on the court last year, is that what you’ve been striving for?

JOHN CALIPARI: A friend of mine came in, the coach up in Western Pennsylvania and watched us practice yesterday. And he said, last year at this time, you were coaching effort intensity, and passion, if you remember. And he said now you’re just coaching basketball. It’s a big difference. So, while I enjoy it a lot more, I’ll do the other if I have to. But that’s what happens when you have veterans back that get it and understand and have young kids that are hungry and are listening and watching. They’re learning from each other. Dakari (Johnson) made a free throw. How about that, too?

Q. Was there any part of the game that was exposed that would give you concern that is something you might need to work on?

JOHN CALIPARI: Probably should have one more platoon. I would probably feel better with three platoons, rather than two.

Q. What can we make of what Karl (Anthony-Towns) ended up doing, just because he was kind of towering overeveryone or is that ‐‐

JOHN CALIPARI: You can say what you want, but, you know, Dakari (Johnson) didn’t get that many baskets, and part of it was Andrew was spoonfeeding him. But, the other part was he was running the floor, he was active, he was getting to where he was open. He made his free throw. I mean, Karl can play. Now he broke down definitely a couple times, and I told him and Devin (Booker), if you guys want to score the ball, you will defend or you’ll be out. You’re not taking all the ball shots, and then go back and let a guy run by you and dunk on you. It’s not happening here. But they’re young. I thought Devin played well. I love his speed up‐and‐down the court. See, Devin ‐‐ if Devin thinks he’s going to get two points, you can’t believe how fast he is. He will run ‐‐ he will outrun world-class sprinters to go get that ball.

Q. Speaking of which, how well do you think your guys kept the pace, kept attacking?

JOHN CALIPARI: There was one segment where we backed up a little bit and we’ll show them on the tape. But short of that, I thought they were really good. We didn’t press and trap the whole game, but we pressured the whole game. And there are games we’ll press more. I like the rotation the way I did it, because if that veteran group comes in the eight-minute mark or 7:45 mark, I can finish a game with that group with one or two subs if I choose to or I can go back with that other group. And again, I’ve got to figure out how we finish games, it looks as though the best five free throw shooters should be on there, Karl being one. Maybe Trey being another. And probably the twins and Tyler. That will probably be a finishing team. I would imagine. We haven’t tried it yet, but that’s what I would imagine.

Q. How much do you feel like they have progressed from the exhibition games in the Bahamas?

JOHN CALIPARI: Physically you’re looking at a body and you’re saying, my gosh ‐‐ his dad said, I can’t believe this is my son. Karl Towns’s dad saying the same thing about him. The twins dad looking at their sons like, whoa. Dakari, you look at him running up‐and‐down the court, he’s as fast as anybody. This kid is flying up‐and‐down the court. Now the question is can we sustain it. And by doing it this way, we can sustain stuff. Now we’ll look at the stats, guys played all of about 20 minutes and we’ll equate these into 34 minute stats. If they had played 34 minutes, if it was a normal college starter playing a lot of minutes, what would their numbers have looked like. That’s efficiency. We’ll look at some rebounding efficiency. Which is how many offensive rebound attempts were there, how many did you get. Defensively the same thing. And I think when you start looking at those efficiencies, you’re going to see a different look at these guys. And I thought that, again, I loved Andrew’s aggressiveness on defense and how he passed the ball and got guys  involved. One team can switch pick and rolls, the other team doesn’t have to. We can fight and force down and it’s kind of like playing two different styles of games when you play these guys.

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