LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Kentucky and Maryland open the season tonight in the Barclays Center Classic in Brooklyn, New York. Tipoff is set for 8:30 on ESPN. Coach John Calipari said earlier in the day guards Ryan Harrow and Julius Mays will play. Both missed practice Wednesday, Harrow with flu like symptoms, Mays rested his knee.
Kentucky is rated a 101/2 point favorite. Thursday, before leaving for New York, Calipari said he expected his post defense to be tested. He called Maryland a post team that will set a lot of screens, a team that "will not beat themselves."
Calipari said his freshmen big men, Nerlens Noel and Willie Cauley-Stein will have to be ready, along with sophomore Kyle Wiltjer. "They're trying to come down each time and get good shots. They're trying to really, really post the ball. They do a great job of running screens and every ball screen ends up in a down screen."
Calipari said with forward Dez Wells eligible, Maryland is "one of those teams." Wells is a 6-5 forward who earned All-Atlantic 10 honors last season as a freshman at Xavier.
Kentucky will follow up the Maryland game playing Duke in Atlanta next Tuesday night.