VAUGHT: Lindsey Wilson preparing for Cats

Lindsey Wilson College coach Paul Peck knows his team could easily be overwhelmed when it plays Kentucky Nov. 2 in an exhibition basketball game at Rupp Arena. However, he's trying to do what he can to help his young team be as prepared as possible for the game.

"Since we are an NAIA school, we can play earlier. I have scheduled a game on Oct. 28 to just get a game under our belts. I didn't want to walk on the court to play the first time with seven new players and have them look around and see 20,000 people," said Peck. "I know our players will be excited, but I don't want them overwhelmed."

Peck is appreciative of the opportunity to play Kentucky just like he was two years ago when his team played Louisville. Lindsey Wilson led most of the first half at Louisville and was still down only eight points midway of the second half of that game.

"A game like this does nothing but help a small program like ours," Peck said. "I am glad UK is willing to stay within the state to play teams like us in exhibition games. I am glad Tubby (Smith) is such a nice guy to do it just like Rick (Pitino) was. Not everybody would do that. They are class guys and are willing to help basketball in our state."

Peck has one big regret. He graduated point guard Scott Cook, who has had workouts with several NBA teams as well as solid offers from European teams.

"He's really a good player and we would be a lot better with him," Peck said. "But we had a good recruiting year. We also have some good players coming back. We just want to go in, have fun and play hard. We want to make a good showing like Georgetown did last year (against Kentucky)." Lindsey Wilson's top returning player is 6-7 Lloyd Lewis, who averaged 15.9 points and 9.1 rebounds per game last year while shooting 49.8 percent from the field. Like Cook, he's from Australia.

"He can score inside or outside. He is a dominant player at our level. He can jump really well. He will play professional basketball," Peck said.

Another Australian playing for Lindsey is 6-10 Anthony Labka, who averaged 5.1 points and 3.0 rebounds per game. He's a former roommate of Andrew Bogut, the Utah star who was the first pick in the 2005 NBA draft. "He has a chance to be a very good player this year," Peck said. Small forward John Fitzgerald also returns and Peck is expecting big things from Texas State transfer Jeremy Johnson, a guard who scored 20 points against Texas last year.

"It's just a blessing for us to get to play this game. We're excited already, but we also are realistic about how good Kentucky will be," Peck said.


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