Local media made the 400-mile trek to cover the trip. Hundreds of avid fans joined them and offered first-hand accounts. Heck, even those who didn't watch Sunday night's opening 95-62 victory over Windsor College in person still had a chance to see it because it was televised regionally and streamed all over the world on Kentucky's official athletics website.
For those who weren't desperate enough for a glimpse of Kentucky's star-studded freshmen class to spend part of their Sunday night in front of a laptop, here are a few observations from the game.
1. Brandon Knight excels in his debut
An August exhibition game is certainly not the time to anoint Brandon Knight as John Calipari's next great point guard, but for at least one night the highly touted freshman looked as though he could live up to the inevitable John Wall comparisons. In his first-ever college game, Knight scored 31 points, made 11 of 19 shots, grabbed six boards, doled out four assists and didn't commit a single turnover in a sparkling 29-minute performance.
Knight will have to prove he can put up similar numbers against opponents with greater pedigree than Windsor College, but there was obviously plenty to get Kentucky fans excited from his debut. He showed the same burst of speed that Wall, Derrick Rose and Tyreke Evans each also possessed, scoring in transition, off the dribble and with pull-up jumpers.
2. Veteran wings show improvement
Early reports from Kentucky practice were that juniors Darius Miller and DeAndre Liggins had improved considerably, and we saw firsthand evidence of that on Sunday night. The same two guys who lacked confidence at times a year ago played with the energy and aggressiveness that suggests they're ready to take on leadership roles next season.
Miller scored 18 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and displayed the three-point shooting that Kentucky desperately needs him to provide. Liggins added 10 points on 5-for-6 shooting, playing his usual gritty defense but also showcasing a willingness to take the ball to the rim that he lacked in years past.
3. John Calipari dresses down ... way down
Maybe an Italian suit is overkill for a meaningless exhibition game, but that doesn't explain the ensemble Calipari sported on Sunday night. The typically dapper Kentucky coach wore a fitted white T-shirt and blue sweats, leading some fans to wonder if he was wearing his pajamas on the sideline and others to question if he was trying to dress like a dentist.
- John Calipari
- Brandon Knight
- Windsor College