Kentucky rolls to 121-52 exhibition win

LEXINGTON, Ky. – So far, so good for Kentucky’s “Blue Platoon” experiment.

Continuing to substitute five new players at four-minute intervals, John Calipari’s top-ranked Wildcats rolled to a 121-52 exhibition victory over perennial NAIA power Georgetown College on Sunday night at Rupp Arena.

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It was Kentucky’s second and final tune-up for the new season, yielding similar results. Last week, the Cats ripped NAIA’s preseason No. 2 squad, Pikeville College, 116-68.

Aaron Harrison led UK with 17 points on a 6-for-9 shooting night. The sophomore guard hit five of his seven shots from beyond the 3-point arc on a night when the Cats went 12-for-27 as a team from long range.

Kentucky also got double-figure scoring from Alex Poythress (15), Karl-Anthony Towns (13) and Willie Cauley-Stein (12) on its starting platoon, while the second unit got 14 points from Trey Lyles, 12 points from Dakari Johnson and 11 points from Devin Booker.

The Cats shot 64 percent from the field and collected assists on 32 of their 46 baskets, countless coming via the dunk.

“We had the same problems that the rest of the country’s going to have this year,” Georgetown coach Chris Briggs said. “Those guys are unreal. I just told the guys in the locker room, they could have beaten some NBA teams tonight, there’s no question in my mind.”

So what will it take for somebody to knock off the Cats?

“You better recruit better first,” Briggs said. “I don’t know what to tell you. We did everything we could. We went zone. We tried man. We tried trapping the post. We tried it all. It’s going to take an extremely off-night and an extremely great night ou of somebody who has big-time NBA talent as well to get those guys.”

Kentucky was remarkably balanced, scoring 60 in the first half and 61 in the second half. The Cats went deeper into the bench late in the game with reserves Derek Willis (7), Dominique Hawkins (4), E.J. Floreal (2) and Sam Malone (2) getting in on the scoring.

Andrew Harrison played another strong floor game, dishing out six assists to go along with his six points. The Sophomore point guard has recorded 15 assists and just two turnovers in UK’s exhibition wins.

“Andrew has taken on a great leadership role,” Calipari said. “He's unbelievable right now.”

Johnson grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds in only 17 minutes of play on a night when the Cats dominated the glass 54-26. Towns added eight rebounds in just 18 minutes of action.

Deondre McWhorter scored a team-high 16 points for Georgetown, who was held to a 28-percent shooting night (19 of 68) from the floor by UK’s long, athletic defense. The Cats recorded nine blocked shots, led by Cauley-Stein with three.

Kentucky head coach John Calipari...

Georgetown College coach Chris Briggs...

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