On Sunday, the No. 2 Wildcats gave a performance fitting of that distinction.
Freshman point guard De'Aaron Fox led five Kentucky players in double figures, scoring 16 points to go along with seven rebounds, six assists and three steals in a 93-59 romp over Duquesne at Rupp Arena.
"He's doing good," UK head coach John Calipari said of Fox. "He's six assists, one turn(over). He had seven rebounds, and I thought he was just OK today. Think about that.... He's maybe the best on-ball defender on our team, maybe one of the best in the country."
Kentucky (4-0) also got 14 points from Malik Monk, 13 apiece from Mychal Mulder and Isaiah Briscoe, and 12 from Bam Adebayo. It was a career-high scoring effort for Mulder, a senior guard, coming off the bench.
The Cats held the Dukes to 30 percent shooting from the field and forced 18 turnovers. They also dominated the glass, 49-32. Adebayo paced UK with eight rebounds.
“Obviously that was a tough night for the Dukes," Duquesne head coach Jim Ferry said. "It really all predicated on how hard John (Calipari) has these guys playing.
"It was one of the most talented teams I’ve seen with their length, athleticism, and depth. (When) John gets these guys playing this hard, it’s overwhelming. At times, we felt we couldn’t make a pass. We couldn’t get past anybody, and when we did, the ball was blocked. They had relentless attack and speed."
Emile Blackman led Duquesne (2-3) with 13 points. Isiaha Mike chipped in with seven points and a game-high 10 rebounds.
In this All Wildcats "Rapid Recap" section, we take a closer look at the UK victory...
WHAT WE LIKED:
Coming off an impressive 21-point win over Michigan State at the Champions Classic, one could have easily understood if the Cats came out a bit flat for a 9 p.m. Sunday tipoff against Duquesne, but UK didn't show any signs of a letdown. "One thing I was anxious to see, how would we play, would there be a letdown?" Calipari said. "... But I thought we played hard. The Cats looked like a team genuinely looking to improve on some of the areas that Calipari has stressed early in the season, namely feeding the post and rebounding. Kentucky's frontcourt had 30 points and helped record a plus-17 night on the glass after being outrebounded in two of the first three games this season.
De'Aaron Fox, Kentucky -- The McDonald's All-American dominated every phase of the game, but his on-ball pressure may have been the most impressive facet of the performance. Duquesne's guards could not find an inch to maneuver all night long. Fox also made his first 3-pointer of the season after missing his first seven attempts.
BY THE NUMBERS:
10 - Blocked shots by the Cats, including two apiece from Bam Adebayo, Derek Willis and Sacha Killeya-Jones.
11 - Steals by UK, including four by Isaiah Briscoe.
19 - Assists for the Cats on 35 made field goals.
26.9% - Three-point shooting by UK, hitting only seven of 26 attempts.
122 - Wins for John Calipari at Rupp Arena, tying Joe B. Hall for the most by any UK head coach.
"He missed three free throws. I told him, I don't know what you did, but go back to the other hairdo." -- UK head coach John Calipari on a new-look De'Aaron Fox missing three of his eight free throws after entering the game 21-for-21 on the season.
Kentucky returns to action Wednesday against Cleveland State in a 1 p.m. pre-holiday tipoff at Rupp Arena. The game will be broadcast by the SEC Network.