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Kentucky (1-0) meets Richmond (1-0) in Bluegrass Showcase finale on Sunday at Rupp Arena

By Tim Letcher
University of Kentucky

After opening its season with an easy 81-45 win over Morehead State on Wednesday, Kentucky returns to action on Sunday, facing Richmond in the final game of the Bluegrass Showcase at Rupp Arena.

Tipoff is set for 1 p.m. and the game can be seen on the SEC Network.

In Wednesday’s opener, it was Kentucky’s talented freshman class that carried the load. Brandon Boston led all scorers with 15 points, while fellow freshmen Devin Askew and Terrence Clarke added 12 apiece. Cam’Ron Fletcher and Isaiah Jackson, two more freshmen, had nine points apiece.

UK’s Brandon Boston (3) led all scorers with 15 points in the win over Morehead State. (UK photo)

However, Sunday’s game will be much more of a challenge for the Wildcats. Richmond had the attention of Kentucky head coach John Calipari prior to the Bluegrass Showcase.

“Their experience, their ability to control the game, to make you play through every possession. If you play 15 seconds, you’re getting beat. You’ve got to play the whole possession,” Calipari said. “On offense, because of how they play, you cannot take high-risk plays. You’ve got to be efficient offensively. Attack and run and get in the lane.”

Richmond got its season started with an 82-64 win over Morehead State on Friday in the second game of the Bluegrass Showcase. Senior forward Nathan Cayo hit all 10 of his field goal attempts, including one from behind the arc, on his way to 26 points in the game. Richmond also got 16 points from 6-foot-10 forward Grant Golden.

The Spiders are a very experienced team, with four graduate students and three seniors on their roster. Head coach Chris Mooney starts two of those graduate students, two of the seniors and a sophomore.

Calipari knows that his team will have a challenge on its hands due to Richmond’s style.

“If you’re going to take a bad shot against them, you take it late in the clock,” Calipari said. “Me saying all that to you, we have no chance of being like that. Just so you know. It’s the second game of the year, 10 new players. They’ve never played against a college team let alone a team that runs, quote, Princeton kind of stuff.”

Of course, Richmond will also have to contend with Kentucky’s ability and especially with its size. The Wildcats starting lineup on Wednesday included only one player shorter than 6-foot-7.

Kentucky’s task on Sunday will be to use its superior size and talent to counteract Richmond’s experience.

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