LEXINGTON, Ky. — De’Aaron Fox almost rushed onto the court. Isaiah Briscoe did.
The whole Kentucky bench erupted into a towel-spinning craze as Mychal Mulder skied above an Asbury defender who should’ve thought better than to contest a malicious jam in a 96-point game with under a minute left.
There were dozens of dunks in Kentucky’s 156-63 exhibition joy ride, but on a team where freshmen are usually featured, the senior Mulder had the best.
“There’s no doubt,” Fox said. “Mike’s dunked on people in practice. I’m not going to say who. Y’all are going to ask but I’m not going to tell you who he’s dunked on.”
GOOD LORD, MYCHAL MULDER!!! pic.twitter.com/dc1Qd60qpy
— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) November 7, 2016
But the lopsided exhibition season has ended and now Mulder will be fighting for a spot in coach John Calipari’s rotation. Calipari said Sunday night that he’s looking at using eight to nine guys on a nightly basis.
Mulder and Dominique Hawkins, another senior guard, will be looking to join Briscoe, Fox and freshman Malik Monk as regulars in the backcourt.
Little to none can be taken from a 93-point exhibition win, but Mulder’s stat line jumped out. He scored 20 points with 11 rebounds and was 4-9 on 3-pointers in just 19 minutes.
“We see it in practice every day,” Fox said of Mulder. “He torches us when we play three guards, against him and Dom or something. He be killing us in practice sometimes. It was good to see him do it in a game.”
Mulder said he was used to the made 3s. It was the dunk he said was most exciting. The senior said he went all last season without a dunk at Rupp Arena. Sunday night’s probably won’t be his last this year.
But now it’s about Mulder logging meaningful minutes when Kentucky’s regular season begins at 7 p.m. Friday against Stephen F. Austin, a team that has reached the NCAA tournament the past three seasons.
“You just gotta know what’s expected of you,” Mulder said. “What your role is for the team and how you can help the team win. When you’re doing that it’s kind of hard not to play.”