LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Before heading to New York Thursday, John Calipari said he expects his low post defense to be tested as the Cats open the season against Maryland Friday night. Kentucky is a double-digit favorite over the Terps in the new Barclays Center.
Calipari will send his young, talented team against a Maryland squad that's also young and rebuilding. "They're a team that tries to post the ball. They run a lot of screens, they play great position defense, they don't give ya whole lot, they don't turn it over a whole lot, they try to take good shots every time down. They're not going to beat themselves, and we'll see if we're ready to beat a basketball team. I'm just not sure, They're going to have to show me."
Calipari said guards Ryan Harrow and Julius Mays sat out practice Wednesday. Harrow with flu-like symptoms, Mays resting his knee after taking a fall Monday night in the final exhibition game against Transylvania. He said he didn't know if either will play but he expressed confidence in Jarrod Polson and Jon Hood filling the void.
In College Park, Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said he and his team are excited about the opener and the chance to play Kentucky. "John could have called anybody in the country and he called me when he got the job and said, 'hey do you want to do this.' We both knew we were gonig to have young teams going in. So I thank him for giving us this opportunity, because the publicity we are going to get from this game is big for our program, win or lose."
Kentucky and Maryland will tipoff at 8:30pm Friday night. The game televised by ESPN.