College Basketball

more stats

UNC Asheville (0-0) at (1) Kentucky (0-0)



Friday, November 8, 7 p.m. (et)

The Sports Network

By Nicholas DeLorenzo, Associate College Basketball Editor

FACTS & STATS: Site: Rupp Arena (23,500) -- Lexington, Kentucky. Television: FSN-S. Home Record: UNCA 0-0, UK 0-0. Away Record: UNCA 0-0, UK 0-0. Neutral Record: UNCA 0-0, UK 0-0. Conference Record: UNCA 0-0, UK 0-0. Series Record: Kentucky leads, 3-0.

GAME NOTES: The nation's No. 1 team will open up the 2013-14 season at home on Friday night, as the Kentucky Wildcats take on the UNC Asheville Bulldogs at Rupp Arena.

UNC Asheville experienced a modest campaign last season in the Big South Conference, finishing 10-6 in league play and 16-16 overall, although its run came to a premature end in the conference tournament after it was upset by last-place Longwood in the first round, 87-72. The Bulldogs had previously qualified for the NCAA Tournament under head coach Eddie Biedenbach in 2011 and 2012.

To call the Wildcats' 2012-13 season a disappointment would be putting things mildly. A year after winning the national championship, UK went just 21-12 and missed out on the NCAA Tournament for the first time in John Calipari's tenure, and for just the second time since 1992. Last season is long gone, however, and the squad is out to prove that it was the exception rather than the rule. Thanks to a few key returnees and an outstanding recruiting class, UK is ranked No. 1 in the AP preseason poll for the first time since 1995-96.

Kentucky has beaten UNC Asheville on all three previous occasions, most recently dominating a November 2009 matchup, 94-57.

UNC Asheville will find it very difficult to duplicate last season's scoring success (71.8 ppg. .450 FG percentage) with the loss of its top two point producers in Jeremy Atkinson (17.8 ppg, 7.1 rpg) and Keith Hornsby (15.0 ppg). Trent Meyer, who led the team in both assists (125) and steals (64), will be asked to step up his scoring production (9.7 ppg), although to do so he'll need improve upon his .359 field goal percentage. Will Weeks (9.0 ppg) and D.J. Cunningham (7.6 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 3.0 bpg) will also be asked to take on larger roles. Corey Littlejohn and Andrew Rowsey are both expected to be factors in the backcourt after seeing big minutes in the Bulldogs' exhibition contest versus Brevard College.

Kentucky's incoming crop of first-year players is headlined by Julius Randle, the consensus top forward recruit in the nation after posting insane numbers (32.5 ppg, 22.5 rpg) as a senior at Prestonwood Christian. The loaded class is rounded out by Aaron Harrison, Andrew Harrison, James Young, Marcus Lee and Daraki Johnson, all of whom were named to the 2013 McDonald's High School All- America Team. Coming back for their sophomore campaigns are Willie Cauley- Stein (8.3 ppg, 6.2 rpg) and Alex Poythress (11.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg), who opted to stay in Lexington as opposed to Archie Goodwin (14.1 ppg) and Nerlens Noel (10.5 ppg, 9.5 rpg), who bolted for the NBA.

The new-look Wildcats are once again the talk of the country, and Calipari will surely put the fresh faces to work in this opener. Expect Kentucky to make an emphatic statement on its home floor against an inferior opponent.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Kentucky 88, UNC Asheville 60

11/08 10:43:57 ET

Other Stories

  • NASL: RailHawks vs. Ft. Lauderdale

    Saturday at 7:30 am on WRAL-2

  • PGA: RBC Heritage

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: RBC Heritage

    Sunday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Canes head coach Kirk Muller presser

    Today at 11:00 am on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHR 2
DUR 9
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
CHI
 
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR
 
7:05pm Tuesday
PHI 0
ATL 0
7:05pm Tuesday
NYY 0
CHC 0
7:05pm Tuesday
BAL 0
TAM 0
7:08pm Tuesday
DET 0
CLE 0
Final
CIN 7
PIT 5
Final
MIA 11
WAS 2
Final
TEX 5
SEA 0
Final
CWS 2
BOS 1
Final
HOU 2
KAN 4
Final
MIL 1
STL 6
Final
MIN 3
TOR 9
Final
ARI 0
NYM 9
Final
ANA 9
OAK 10
Final
SDP 2
COL 3
Final
SFG 3
LOS 2
12:35pm Today
CIN
PIT
12:35pm Today
BAL
TAM
 
1:05pm Today
NYY
CHC
 
1:10pm Today
MIL
STL
 
3:40pm Today
ARI
NYM
 
7:05pm Tonight
PHI
ATL
 
7:05pm Tonight
NYY
CHC
 
7:08pm Tonight
DET
CLE
 
7:10pm Tonight
MIA
WAS
 
8:05pm Tonight
TEX
SEA
 
8:10pm Tonight
CWS
BOS
 
8:10pm Tonight
HOU
KAN
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIN
TOR
 
10:05pm Tonight
ANA
OAK
 
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
COL
 
10:15pm Tonight
SFG
LOS
 
Final
BRK 98
NYK 109
Final
LAC 117
DEN 105
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
CHI
 
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
IND
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIL
ATL
 
8:00pm Tonight
CLE
BRK
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
DAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
DET
 
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
HOU
 
8:00pm Tonight
SAN
LAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIA
PHI
 
8:00pm Tonight
NYK
TOR
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
UTA
 
8:00pm Tonight
BOS
WAS
 
10:30pm Tonight
DEN
GSW
 
10:30pm Tonight
POR
LAC
 
10:30pm Tonight
SAC
PHO
 
7:00pm Tonight
TAM
MON
7:30pm Tonight
PIT
CLB
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
DAL
Final
CHR 2
DUR 9
 
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR