De'Aaron Fox sets record in UK's season-opening win

11/12/2016 01:01 AM

Photo: UK Athletics

The Kentucky Wildcats opened their eighth season under John Calipari Friday night with a game against Stephen F. Austin and, though the coach would say after the game that his team had a lot of work to do, the Cats certainly looked every bit as talented as they were promised to be in an 87-64 win.

While Kentucky’s freshman class had received loads of praise in the preseason, it was a veteran who carried the team early. Senior Derek Willis scored 10 of Kentucky’s first 14 points, on his way to 15 for the game, to go with 5 rebounds and 3 blocks. Willis’ strong first half helped Kentucky to a 48-32 lead at the half, but it was one of the star freshmen who ended the night in the Kentucky record books.

Point guard De’Aaron Fox dished out 12 assists, setting a record for the most in a debut game by any player in program history and his total was only four fewer than John Wall’s single-game record. Fox added 12 points, 4 rebounds and 3 steals in a game-high 31 minutes, but everyone was talking about his assists afterwards and the record he didn’t even realize he had set.

“I didn’t even realize I was doing it,” Fox said. “I know I wasn’t shooting the ball well. My teammates were cutting and finishing when I was passing it to them so all the credit is to them.”

Sophomore Isaiah Briscoe led the team with 17 points, while freshmen Malik Monk (10) and Wenyen Gabriel (10) also scored in double figures. Sophomore big man Isaac Humphries finished with 9 points, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks and 3 steals in only 19 minutes of play.

The Cats take the court again Sunday against Canisius before hitting the road for a game at Madison Square Garden against Michigan State on Tuesday.

Here are a couple of highlights from Friday night’s win:


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