By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky opens its exhibition season Sunday night at 7 against Division II Clarion, a place UK coach John Calipari once played.
“We’re all really excited to be able to line up against somebody that we don’t know so well. We work hard every day against each other and I’m excited to see us really project that against an opponent,” UK senior guard Mychal Mulder said Thursday.
“These games, they always show you what you need to work on early on. It’ll show you what you got going for you and what you might lack. In an exhibition game like this, we’re just excited to go against an opponent and see what we can do against somebody other than ourselves.”
Kentucky’s six freshmen have been asking questions about what the atmosphere might be like.
“I feel like they have an idea what the crowd will be like, but they’re just excited to see it all filled up. It’ll be more packed even than what it was at Madness, probably. So they’re just really excited to see that and they’re excited to go against another opponent,” Mulder said.
Mulder is one of three seniors — Derek Willis and Dominique Hawkins are the other two — that should provide leadership this season.
“These guys are all really talented young basketball players and they do look to us for some sort of guidance for how we should handle ourselves on and off the court. Generally, I think it’d be leadership,” Mulder said.
“It’s not like they need a lot of extra leadership. These guys are leaders on their own at a young age and it’s impressive to see. They’ll look to us — they’ll be jacked up to see all the fans in Rupp for game one and I’m sure they’re excited about it. They’ve been talking about it all week, so I’m excited to see how they handle that.”