Wildcats Face Georgetown in Final Exhibition
Kentucky vs. Georgetown (Ky.) (exh.)
Wednesday, Nov. 9 - 7:00 p.m. ET
Rupp Arena - Lexington, Ky.
Game Notes in PDF Format
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Press Conference Quotes - Nov. 8 | Watch the Press Conference
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Kentucky closes exhibition play by facing nearby Georgetown College Wednesday at Rupp Arena. Georgetown, located 15 miles northwest of Lexington, is home to the perennial NAIA power Tigers.
UK defeated Northern State, 80-51, in its first exhibition game last Wednesday. Patrick Sparks led the Wildcats with 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting. Rekalin Sims led all rebounders with eight boards.
The Wildcats return three starters from its 28-6 campaign in 2004-05, including the nation’s top backcourt. Senior Patrick Sparks and sophomore Rajon Rondo return to the starting lineup and are backed by returnees Ramel Bradley, Ravi Moss, Preston LeMaster and Brandon Stockton.
For the first time in school history, Kentucky’s roster boasts three seven-footers, including juniors Lukasz Obrzut and Shagari Alleyne and newcomer Jared Carter. Joining the big men in the front court are junior forwards Sheray Thomas and Bobby Perry and junior college transfer Rekalin Sims.
UK is celebrating its 30th season of play at Rupp Arena in 2005-06 and each game will reflect on a “Top Rupp Moment.” Wednesday’s game reflects at UK’s 67-66 overtime win over Kansas on December 9, 1978.
Press Conference Quotes - Nov. 8
Head Coach Tubby Smith
“This exhibition game against Georgetown is one that we are always interested in trying to play. We have played a few in-state schools and this will be another test for us because Coach Happy Osbourne’s team is going to play up-tempo, shoot the three and they are really going to get after you. Georgetown and Kentucky have a long history of playing games. I am glad we could put them on the schedule and play this game. This is a good opportunity to make the changes we need to make, not just in personnel, but also find out what has been working. There are a lot of things we need to improve on. Northern State did a good job of exposing some things and making our players execute on the defensive and offensive ends of the floor. This week we will be playing against a much more athletic team, probably a better outside shooting team, but this is an opportunity for us to make some adjustments before we play for real on Sunday.”
On areas of concern for the game…
“Free-throw shooting is something that we are always going to be talking about until we shoot 100 percent. In the rebounding end of the game, we were so much bigger than Northern State. Tomorrow night there will be a lot more athletic players out there and we are going to have to do a better job of boxing out. I didn’t think we communicated well as far as transition defense and that needs to improve.”
On starting the same lineup on Wednesday against the Tigers…
“Probably not, I am just looking for different match-ups and different people. I am just not certain right now.”
On starting freshman Jared Carter…
“He is a good player, but I think both Shargari (Alleyne) and Lukasz (Orbzut) are ahead of him right now. There are some areas Jared needs to work on, like knowing the plays, which is understandable since he is a freshman.”
On Georgetown College’s up-tempo style of play…
“That is another good reason to play Georgetown. To what they can expose and see what we need to improve in when it comes to playing up-tempo basketball, because they play a style where they get out and extend their defense and attack the basket. That will really test our perimeter defenders. It will be a challenge for our guys to rotate and get out and challenge shots, as well as getting the ball up and down the court because getting back is one of our problems in transition. We have some good ball handlers who can push the ball up the court. Georgetown will take the first open shot and that comes down to communicating, stopping the easy baskets and getting out and challenging shots.”
On the improved frontcourt play…
“I think both Lukasz (Orbzut) and Shagari (Alleyne) have really improved a lot. You have to get the ball to Shagari, Lukasz and any of our post players, so they can finish at the basket and not have to make a move. I like the way all of our interior people are playing.
On Randolph Morris’ injury…
"Randolph is back now and he looks a little out of shape. He has had to sit out for about two weeks. I am just not sure he is ready because of his foot. He has been able to practice but not much.”
On his relationship with Georgetown College coach Happy Osbourne…
“Happy is a happy guy. He is a good guy and a fun guy to be around. I think coach David Hobbs spoke at their clinic. We have been in communication over the last few years. He is one of the best coaches at the NAIA level and in college basketball. Happy is an excellent recruiter and teacher. His teams are always getting better and I know they will be a real force nationally as well.”
#23 Sheray Thomas
On the team’s recent practices…
“We’ve just been going over rebounding and trying to improve and get back to basics on defense.”
On the team’s recent emphasis on rebounding…
“We’re spending a great amount of time on rebounding in practice. That’s our No. 1 goal right now and we’ve also been working a lot on defense.”
On preparing for Georgetown College…
“We need to come out and play hard because we know that Georgetown is going to come in and try to beat us. We need to try to improve on our game as much as possible. We know that they are going to try to give us a run for our money.”
#42 Rekalin Sims
On what the team has been working on in its recent practices…
“We’ve really been working on the whole works. We’re not where we want to be right now, so we’re working extra hard in our practices. There has been a lot to work on, so practices have been tough.”
On his possible starting role…
“If I do start or if I don’t start, it doesn’t really matter. I just want to go out there and contribute to help the team.”
On playing in his first exhibition game…
“These are really just like testers to go out there and get comfortable playing in Rupp Arena. We just want to see where we’re at and I want to give it my all.”
#13 Bobby Perry
On the team’s progress so far this season…
“We’re doing a good job of getting better and improving. When we start the season, I feel like we will be right there.”
On playing more at the small forward position this season…
“The three is wonderful, but it’s an adjustment from being at the four. You just have to get on the block and turn your back to the basket more when you’re playing the three.”
On how he has improved since last season…
“I feel like, most importantly, that I have gotten stronger. My ball handling and my shooting have improved. I’ve just tried to work at getting better in my overall leadership on and off the court.”
This might be the only game I root against UK; gotta root for your alma mater. Georgetown started very strong, as I thought they probably would. Georgetown's starting five can actually hang with UK fairly well. When it comes to depth, however, Georgetown isn't anywhere near UK. GTown's tallest player is 6' 8"; UK has 3 seven-footers.
Down by 14 after half-time; it was a very spirited first half, and if GTown had converted more of its easy chances, it would be even closer. I'm proud of the way GTown fought the first half.
These two teams should play every year. It is such a great thing for Georgetown College as well as the entire region.
Lots of people don't know that UK actually played Georgetown College in their first ever game, a game that Georgetown won. UK's overall record against GTown is 25-15. They last played in 1939. I'd like to see them make this an annual thing.