November 07, 2011
Disappointed that his team started slowly against Transylvania in its first exhibition game, Kentucky coach John Calipari challenged the Wildcats to play with more urgency the next time they took the floor.
Chances are Calipari was probably more satisfied with Monday night's exhibition finale.
Division II Morehouse College was on the receiving end of a 125-40 shellacking that in many ways was even more one-sided than the final score suggests. Kentucky led by 10 after less than two minutes, by 20 after less than six minutes and by 50 with six minutes still to go before halftime.
It doesn't mean much that the nation's No. 2 team handily beat a thoroughly overmatched opponent in an exhibition game, but the margin was startling even for a Kentucky team that starts at least four projected NBA first-round picks. Here are 10 numbers that better tell the story of what presumably will be the biggest mismatch of the college basketball season:
1. TWENTY-SIX: The number of consecutive baskets Kentucky's five starters made to start the game before Marquis Teague snapped the streak when he missed a 3-pointer with 14:07 left in the second half. The starters finished 31 of 34.
2. FIFTY-SEVEN: The margin with 4:55 left in the first half after a 3-pointer from Teague increased Kentucky's lead to a ridiculous 63-6. At that point, the Wildcats were on pace to score 168 points.
3. EIGHTY-NINE: Kentucky's largest lead, achieved on a Darius Miller jumper that made the score 125-36 with 2:06 remaining.
4. SEVENTY-SEVEN: Kentucky's largest margin of victory in a regular-season game, a feat the Wildcats achieved against Georgia in 1956. Had this game counted in the record books, Kentucky's 85-point margin would have broken that record.
5. SEVENTY-FIVE: Percentage of shots Kentucky made from the field in the first half.
7. ONE: Kentucky player who failed to score. Walk-on Brian Long did not attempt a shot in seven minutes of second-half playing time. Fellow walk-on Sam Malone got into the scoring column with a layup with 3:31 to play.
8. SIXTY-EIGHT: Kentucky's margin when Shabazz Muhammad, the nation's No. 1 recruit, tweeted: "86-18 with 16 mins to go all I can sa is wowwwww lol !!!!" Muhammad will decide in the spring between Kentucky, UCLA, USC, UNLV and others.
9. TWENTY-NINE: Unanswered points scored by Kentucky in one seven-minute stretch to increase its lead from 34-6 to 63-6. Incredibly enough, Morehouse only called timeout once during that run.
10: TWENTY-FOUR: The margin of Georgia's 74-50 exhibition victory over Morehouse in an exhibition game on Friday night. Does that mean Kentucky is 61 points better than the Bulldogs? Probably not, but we'll find out for sure during SEC play in January.
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