UK VS. KSU | Wildcats rout Kentucky State in final exhibition, 111-58
11/06/2015 08:46 PM
LEXINGTON — Another exhibition, another runaway victory for Kentucky as the Wildcats defeated in-state foe Kentucky State, 111-58, on Friday night at Rupp Arena.
It was UK’s second and final preseason game of 2015-16, outscoring its two opponents by a margin of 228-116.
Here are four takeaways from Friday night:
1. Skal Has it All
The No. 1 recruit in the nation posted a goose egg in the first half against Kentucky State but found his game in the second half, scoring a game-high 22 points in just over nine minutes to go along with nine rebounds.
Labissiere showed his full array of post moves during the second half scoring spurt, swishing hook shots with both hands, spinning around defenders on the block, and even hitting a stepback, turnaround jumper from the free-throw line. In two exhibition games, Labissiere totaled 40 points on 18/24 shooting in 39 minutes of playing time.
Skal will have to adjust to taller and more capable defenders during the regular season, but it’s a promising start nonetheless for the preseason All-American.
2. Poythress Continues to Look Better
Alex followed up his eight-point debut against Ottawa University with a stat-stuffing 13 points, eight rebounds, and four blocks against Kentucky State, including a pair of explosive putback dunks that looked very 2014-esque.
As if that wasn’t impressive enough, Poythress also made his only three-point attempt of the night on Friday, remaining a perfect 3/3 from distance during the preseason.
Hiss knee may still be short of 100% healthy, but Alex is already prepared to be a big contributor to the Wildcats’ success this season.
3. Willis Deserves Minutes
If you haven’t noticed, Derek is making a serious case for significant playing time this year.
The junior forward submitted the best all-around performance of the night, totaling six points, nine rebounds, a team-high five assists, two steals, and 1/1 shooting from distance against Kentucky State.
Willis stuck out two seasons on the bench before his turn to play finally arrive, and he’s making the most of the opportunity.
4. Free-Throw Concerns
After shooting a concerning 9/18 (50%) from the charity stripe against Ottawa, Kentucky improved to 31/44 (70%) — yes, 44 foul shots in one game — on Friday night.
Not contributing to the progress, however, was freshman guard Isaiah Briscoe.
The five-star recruit finished 1-7 from the line against Kentucky State and shot a combined 4-11 for the preseason.
Briscoe is UK’s best defender at the point guard position and relies on dribble penetration for his scoring on offense, but if he can’t convert his free-throw attempts, John Calipari will be forced to leave him on the bench late in close games.
Next Up: Kentucky returns to the court on Tuesday for its first game of the regular season against the University of Albany. Tipoff is set for 7:00 p.m. ET at Rupp Arena with television broadcast on the SEC Network.
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