Kentucky will be without Enes Kanter, the 6-foot-10 Turkish center, who was expected to star and play a primary role on this year's team. The NCAA is expected to rule on his eligibility soon, possibly this week.
In the interim, coach John Calipari will be looking at Eloy Vargas and Josh Harrellson closely in the event the Kanter news is not good. Harrellson, the 6-foot-10 Missouri native, pulled down a whopping 26 rebounds in the recent blue-white scrimmage. He also averaged 13 rebounds per game in a three-game summer exhibition Canadian tour. "Playing Pikeville is going to be a great challenge for us to see how far our team and our team chemistry have come," Harrellson said. "It's going to be a good opportunity to see how far along we are."
Calipari is taking nothing for granted against Pikeville, "I tried to do a little scouting as they were wrapping up practice. Coach Wells does a great job with his team, and it will be a good test for our young squad. I like that we are able to play other Kentucky schools and help them prepare for their season as well. We just need to continue to get better in all areas, and I know our guys are looking forward to playing some other competition."
Wells is a former Mason County High School coach and one of his stars was the Wildcats' Darius Miller, who may be called upon for more rebounding in the event Kanter is ruled ineligible, "We're looking forward to getting out of Rupp Arena and playing against some competition other than each other," Darius said. "I'm also looking forward to playing against one of my high school teammates, Trevor Setty, and my old high school coach Kelly Wells."
The game starts at 7:00 PM EST and will be carried by the following media sources:
FS South: 7:00 p.m. ET (Live)
. Big Blue Sports Network
WSAZ-DT My Z