LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky and Utah Valley tip off the 2017-18 college basketball season on Friday, November 10, 2017. Find game time, TV channel and how to watch online below.
The game will be a homecoming for Utah Valley coach Mark Pope, who played for Kentucky from 1994-96 and helped the Wildcats win the ’96 national championship. Pope and the Wolverines are embarking on what might be the toughest 24 hours in college basketball history.
They’ll play No. 5 Kentucky on Friday night at Rupp Arena and then No. 1 Duke at Cameron Indoor on Saturday, which prompted Wildcats freshman Kevin Knox to say: “I was looking at that the other day and just praying for them.”
But Kentucky, which returns just 7.5 percent of last season’s scoring and has only nine available scholarship players (no juniors or seniors), is opening the schedule with three games in five days — including No. 4 Kansas on Tuesday in Chicago. Coach John Calipari seemed to be bracing fans (and himself) for some early struggles when he met the media Thursday.
Kentucky-Utah Valley game time, details
Time: 7 p.m. ET
Date: Friday, November 10, 2017
Location: Rupp Arena (23,000), Lexington, Ky.
Vegas line: Kentucky by 21
What TV channel is Kentucky-Utah Valley on?
You can watch Kentucky host Utah Valley on SEC Network. Find your local channel number here.
How can I watch Kentucky-Utah Valley online?
Stream Kentucky vs. Utah Valley on ESPN3.com and the WatchESPN app.
How can I listen to Kentucky-Utah Valley on the radio?
Kentucky and Utah Valley will be broadcast on the UK Sports Network. That’s 630-AM on Lexington radio and can be streamed at iHeart Radio.
Kentucky-Utah Valley preview
- The Wildcats won their three exhibition games — against Division III Thomas More and Centre College and Division I Morehead State — by an average of 36.7 points and scored an average of 100.3 points. They shot 57.1 percent from the field in preseason play.
- Freshman forward Kevin Knox led the Wildcats in scoring (19.3 points) and averaged 6.3 rebounds and 2.0 steals, while making 59.5 percent of his shots and 11 of 12 free throws in exhibition games.
- Freshman point guard Quade Green was UK’s second-leading scorer in preseason (15.7 points) and led the team in assists (5.7) with just 1.3 turnovers per game. He also shot a team-beset 63.6 percent from 3-point range (7 of 11).
- Sophomore forward Wenyen Gabriel led the team in rebounding (8.3) to go with 12.0 points and 4-of-9 shooting beyond the arc.
- There was potentially some good news for the Wildcats on Thursday when Calipari offered up a timeline for the return of 5-star freshman forward Jarred Vanderbilt to practicing. The McDonald’s All-American who has been out with a foot injury is on track to rejoin his teammates by the end of November.
- Utah Valley, which won 6 of 8 games to finish last season 17-17, returns eight players who played significant minutes late season, including five of the Wolverines top six scorers and their top five rebounders.
- Kentucky will finally be picking on somebody a little more its size, as Utah Valley’s starters stand 6-foot-2, 6-4, 6-5, 6-11 and 7 feet. Preseason All-WAC selection Isaac Neilson is a 6-11, 245-pound redshirt senior who averaged 9.6 points, 9.1 rebounds and 1.6 blocks last year.
- Neilson is one of three BYU transfers on the Wolverines’ roster, including starting guard Jake Toolson. They also have imports from Oklahoma (7-foot starter Akolda Manyang), Xavier (starting guard Brandon Randolph), Utah, Kent State, Eastern Michigan and five players from junior colleges. They’ll certainly have an experience advantage over Kentucky.