The University of Kentucky men’s basketball team finished up its two game exhibition season with a 86-64 win over the IU Pennsylvania Crimson Hawks . On the same night that the UK Men’s Soccer team clinched the Conference USA title, the day before the UK Football team hosts Georgia for the SEC East title and four days before the Cats tipoff the 2018-19 season against Duke, the Wildcats did just enough to win comfortably on Friday night in front of a crowd of 20,095 in Rupp Arena. Head coach John Calipari will certainly have a few things to work on before the team heads to Indianapolis to take on the Blue Devils.
Reid Travis was once again dominant. He scored 22 points (on 7-12 shooting) and grabbed a game high 14 rebounds. The graduate transfer from Stanford was consistent throughout against the Crimson Hawks earning postgame praise from both Calipari and IUP head man Joe Lombardi. PJ Washington added 20 points and six rebounds for Kentucky and Tyler Herro had 17 points, shooting 5-7 from three point range. Keldon Johnson was the fourth Wildcat to score in double figures by adding 11.
Kentucky outrebounded IUP 39-25 and shot 50% from the field while limiting the visitors to 37.5%. The Cats also hit 19-21 from the FT line (90.5%) and 9-22 from three point range (40.9%). After the game, Calipari stated that he was pleased with the three point percentage and the number of threes attempted saying that he feels this team should be shooting between 18-22 a game. One of his biggest concerns, however, was the play of Ashton Hagans and Immanuel Quickley. The concern is that the offense wasn’t as smooth as he wanted (17 assists and 14 turnovers) and that the Crimson Hawks were able to run a lot of their offensive sets, the Cats giving up a lot of straight line drives.
The good news is that the Cats won the game. The bad news is there are a few things the Cats need to clean up before Tuesday’s game against Duke. While the game against IU Pennsylvania wasn’t as thrilling as many in the Big Blue Nation would have liked, no doubt the Cats will be ready to take on the Blue Devils.