LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — With a roster full of new faces, the Kentucky men's basketball team made things look easy with a 81-45 win over Morehead St. in the opening contest of the Bluegrass Showcase Wednesday night at Rupp Arena.
Overall, the team gelled very nicely. There wasn't any one player that took the floor that didn't belong.
Ninety-nine percent of the minutes from players played last season were gone heading into 2020. Every player that took the floor Wednesday was their first time playing in a game under head coach John Calipari. Keion Brooks Jr. would have been the only one to have played, but he is still sidelined with a nagging calf injury.
Kentucky had four players score in double-figures (Boston, Clarke, Askew, Mintz) with Fletcher and Sarr coming close with 9 and 8 points respectively.
The Wildcats shot 55.9% from the field and nearly 38% from beyond the arc.
The defense was suffocating the Eagles throughout much of the night, forcing 20 turnovers and scoring 20 points off of those turnovers. The Wildcats also held the advantage in rebounds 37-25.
Morehead St. only shot 34% from the field.
Three players scored in double figures for the Eagles (Broome and Dixon with 11 points, Baker with 10 points).
Kentucky will face Richmond on Sunday at 1 p.m. while Morehead St. will face Richmond Friday at 6 p.m.
Detroit Mercy had to withdraw from the Bluegrass Showcase after a member of the training staff tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday.
Terrence Clarke showed his ability to slash to the rim and attack the basket, but his ability to finish at the basket with finesse was something else. Clarke finished with 12 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists. His defensive energy was great throughout the night as well, comign away with 3 steals.
Brandon Boston Jr. and Clarke will compete to see who's the best player on this year's team. Boston showed his versatility on both ends of the ball as well, leading the team with 15 points and 7 rebounds.
Isaiah Jackson was a freak of nature in the game's first seven minutes before he picked up two personal fouls, which put him on the bench for the remainder of the half. He still had a good game, finishing with 9 points on 4-5 shooting from the field. It will be fun to watch him block shots this season, too. He had two Wednesday night that were electric.
Devin Askew could be a very good pull-up shooter from the point guard position and being in the back court on transition offense. He's very fast. Askew finished with 12 points and 4 assists, but also had 4 turnovers.
Creighton transfer Davion Mintz fits right in with this team. He takes command of the offense, and his ability to pull-up from anywhere beyond the three-point line is a huge bonus.
Cam'Ron Fletcher really proved himself as being the perfect role-player Calipari will need as the season continues. He finished with 9 points and 4 rebounds in 17 min of play.
Wake Forest transfer Olivier Sarr provided even more length in the post, showing his veteran presence down low. He went on to finish with 8 points on 4-6 shooting with 3 rebounds and 2 blocks.
Dontaie Allen made his Kentucky debut after missing all of last season while rehabbing a knee injury. He entered the game late in the first half and made his first shot as a Wildcat with a wide open three-pointer from the corner. It was a cool night for the 2018 Mr. Basketball and former Pendleton Co. star.