LEXINGTON, Ky. - For the second year in a row, Transylvania's men's basketball team will take on the University of Kentucky in an exhibition game at Rupp Arena.
The Pioneers and Wildcats will square off on Nov. 5, with tip-off tentatively set for 7 p.m. The two teams played for the first time in 100 years last fall, with Transy leaping to an 11-4 lead before eventually falling 97-53 to a UK squad that would go on to win a national championship.
It was also a highly successful season for coach Brian Lane's squad, which won the Heartland Conference regular season title, posted a 23-5 overall record, and made an appearance in the NCAA Division III National Championship.
"We had such a positive experience with the game last year," said Lane, who has guided the Pioneers to four NCAA appearances in the last six years. "We appreciate coach (John) Calipari putting us on the schedule again. Our players, students, faculty and staff, and alumni got a big kick out the whole experience last year and we look forward to doing it again. Hopefully, it will spur them to another championship."
The Transy-UK exhibition is the first game on the Pioneers' schedule for the 2012-13 season. Regular season play begins on Nov. 16-17 when Transy participates in the D3hoops.com Classic in Baltimore. The first home game at the Beck Center is on Dec. 5 against HCAC rival Earlham.
Tate Cox led Transy in last year's game with 15 points, Barrett Meyer added 13, and Ethan Spurlin notched 12. Brandon Rash netted eight points. All return for a team that should again be the preseason favorite for the HCAC title.
Spurlin was named HCAC Player of the Year and was a third-team All-American.
Kentucky lost six of its top seven players from a year ago, all of whom were taken in the first two rounds of the recent NBA draft. Terrence Jones had 22 points and 12 rebounds in last year's game while Doron Lamb and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist added 19 apiece.
UK's incoming recruiting class has been rated as the first- or second-best in the country by a number of national publications.
"I was happy with the way we competed with them last year," said Lane. "I know they had a lot to look at on the tape the next day. We will be prepared again and hopefully they will get something out of playing us."
Before the teams stopped playing regular season games in 1911, the series was tied at 7-7.