LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky throttled coach John Calipari’s alma mater Clarion, 108-51, Sunday night at Rupp Arena. Afterward, he sounded pleased with the performance, which featured six Wildcats scoring in double figures: Malik Monk (15), Bam Adebayo (13), Derek Willis (13), Sacha Killeya-Jones (12), De’Aaron Fox (12) and Isaiah Briscoe (11).
Briscoe also had 11 assists and Adebyo had 14 rebounds for double-doubles in Kentucky’s first exhibition game of the 2016-17 season. The highlights from Calipari postgame:
- “I may even get a kiss from my wife tonight,” he said after son Brad Calipari, a freshman walk-on, hit a pair of late 3-pointers, including a falling-down bucket while being fouled. “I had my back to the first one and I kind of just turned and saw him shoot it and it went in and I was happy for him. And then the second one, which was kind of a lucky one, but he had the courage to try and shoot it.”
- “Isaiah was outstanding. He was five assists, one (turnover) at half, and I looked at it, called him, I said, ‘Come here. Score the ball, man. You’re going to score the ball for us.’ He says, ‘I got you,’ so he comes out in the second half and (scores 10). He is the key to the team. And the greatest thing is it’s kind of like having John (Wall) and Eric Bledsoe: You got two point guards with he and De’Aaron Fox.”
- Why did Clarion’s coach say freshman forward Wenyen Gabriel was his favorite Wildcat? “Motor. Every coach likes a guy with a motor, and the kid’s motor … I tell you who else is really good: Sacha. He’s really good.”
- Rupp Arena’s enormous new center-hung scoreboard (with huge video screens) and upgraded sound system have transformed the game-day experience, and Calipari noticed. “Let me say this to the Rupp Arena people and the group that (upgraded the technology): The scoreboard, the ribbon board, I mean, it’s like a new arena. Sounds different, looks different — the videos, it just presents the game even better.”
- Tyler Ulis was Calipari’s coach on the court last season. When he left for the NBA, the job became Briscoe’s. “He’s coaching De’Aaron Fox, he’s coaching these guys, he’s talking. If you listen, you hear his voice more than you even hear mine, which is perfect, which is what I want. It starts with him.”