Dunk-a-thon gives UK 156-63 win over Asbury

By LARRY VAUGHT

LEXINGTON — Exhibition games are supposed to show a coach what his players can, or cannot, do.

However, there was not much for Kentucky coach John Calipari to learn during Sunday night’s 156-63 win over Asbury other than Kentucky can dunk — the Cats had 29 in the game — and can make layups.

At one point, 47 of UK’s 58 field goals were layups or dunks. The Cats had 116 points in the paint and 60 fast break points. Stop a minute and let those numbers sink in as Asbury had no defense within 10 feet of the basket.

Kentucky had eight players in double figures led by De’Aaron Fox with 25 and Mychal Mulder with 20 along with 11 rebounds. Wenyen Gabriel had 16 points and seven rebounds.

The teams combined for 193 shots. Kentucky was 66 of 96 from the field for 69 percent — and had 34 assists — while Asbury was 22 of 97 for 23 percent. Asbury put up 49 3-point tries and made 8.

Asbury coach Will Shouse said he could have played to keep the margin to 50-60 points. Then he joked he’s not sure he could have done that.

“This is like biggest, strongest, fastest. I thought Mulder shot the ball well and put the ball in the basket,” Shouse said. “I wanted to put them in situations where they had to think a little bit and they played it well.”

Shouse, a Kentucky fan, said it was a “fun experience” for his team that has a goal of 50 3-point tries per game. Maybe it was about as much fun as I have the last two miles of a 13.1-mile half-marathon.

“I will be back (to Rupp Arena). Just not sure I will have that good of a seat again,” Shouse said.

Calipari said a pregame goal was to guard 3-point shots and take tougher 2-point shots or contested 3-point shots.

“They just run and trap. You have to attack. That’s what led us to play that fast,” Calipari said.

He noted that Indiana in the 2012 NCAA Tournament was the only other team in his time here that tried to speed up a whole game.

“We got winded. We have to get in better shape,” Calipari said.

The UK coach said he feels “comfortable” with eight or nine players as of today. He cited Bam Adebayo as one playing the best along with guards De’Aaron Fox, Malik Monk and Isaiah Briscoe.

Calipari said his players know future games are going to be a lot harder with three games in five days starting with Friday night’s game against Stephen Austin, a NCAA Tournament team last year.

The coach joked he couldn’t even pick a favorite dunk because there were so many.

“If you try to stretch us out, a stretched court speeds us up and we are looking dunks or layups,” Calipari said. “This team has to post the ball. We have to be a better defensive team. We still don’t trust each other because we are so young.

“I like the fact we share the ball. I understand they are exhibition games, but to win real games, against Division I teams, you got to execute, post the ball.”

1 comment

  1. Only time will show our weaknesses when we play Michigan.st in a couple weeks

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