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10 Notes from Kentucky’s historic 93-point romp over Asbury

Photo by UK Athletics

Photo by UK Athletics

Photo by UK Athletics

There are routs and then there are routs that would make even John Short blush; tonight was definitely the latter. Kentucky beat Asbury 156-63 tonight in their second exhibition game at Rupp, and no, that’s not a typo. The Cats scored 156 points, the most in a single game in Kentucky basketball history, exhibition or regular season. It was that ridiculous.

Let’s end the weekend on a good note and break it down, shall we?

1. Monk was back in the starting lineup

John Calipari caught everyone off guard in Kentucky’s first exhibition when he started Wenyen Gabriel over Malik Monk, but Monk was back in the starting five tonight, alongside De’Aaron Fox, Isaiah Briscoe, Bam Adebayo, and Derek Willis. As I’ll show you later, Monk did a lot of crazy things tonight.

2. Kentucky had 88 points in the first half

To put tonight’s rout in perspective, the Cats were ahead 88 to 25 — AT HALFTIME. It sounds ridiculous considering the margin, but Asbury fought hard throughout, scoring the first bucket of the game and trying their hardest to nip at Kentucky’s heels, but as they say, sometimes you’re the windshield, and sometimes you’re the bug. The Eagles found themselves smeared all over Kentucky’s windshield tonight, but at least they’ll go home with a $20,000 check and plenty of stories to tell their grandchildren about how Kentucky hung 93 on them at Rupp Arena.

3. De’Aaron Fox dominated the first half

In routs like this, pinpointing one star seems a bit pointless, but De’Aaron Fox quickly asserted himself, scoring nine points in the first five and a half minutes. Fox finished with 25 points (11-14), 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and only 1 turnover in 17 minutes of play. Towards the end of the first half, he had 19 points, the same as the entire Asbury squad.

4. Everyone scored

You know it’s a good night when everyone on the team ends up on the stat sheet. Tai Wynyard and Brad Calipari went in during the first half, finishing with ten and five points, and even Jonny David and Dillon Pulliam got in on the fun, scoring three and four points respectively. No Cat played more than 20 minutes and no one played less than seven. In the second half, Calipari let the subs start, keeping De’Aaron Fox, Isaiah Briscoe, Malik Monk, and Bam Adebayo on the bench until his team crossed the century mark. As the kids would say, everyone ate.

5. Kentucky had 29 dunks

As Kentucky fans, we use the term “dunk fest” a lot, but tonight’s game was literally just that, with the Cats throwing down 29 dunks according to Kyle Tucker’s count. Malik Monk accounted for quite a few of those, including this SportsCenter Top 10 contender:


Monk had at least two more that were almost as ridiculous as that. I took on the task of recording UK’s highlights tonight, and by midway through the first half, I was exhausted. #BBNProblems

6. Asbury tried to speed Kentucky up and it backfired

You have to hand it to Asbury; they came in with a plan, and stuck to it throughout; unfortunately, that plan was to run with Kentucky, which ended up being a horrible idea. Afterwards, John Calipari said he’s only had one other team try to run with him during his tenure at Kentucky, and that was Indiana during the 2012 NCAA Tournament.

“We have had one team do that to us in my time here and that was Indiana in the NCAA Tournament and I think we won by 10 or 12 or 14 whatever it was. That said we’re speeding them up the whole game, see if they can stay with us. So this is like the second team that just said just keep playing that way,” Cal said. “On the other side, that’s why we scored so many points.”

“But if you stretch us out, I don’t care who you are, if the court is stretched against us, whether you’re trying to slow us down, a stretched court speeds us up,” Cal added later.

Please try to run with us, college basketball.

7. Calipari thinks his rotation be 8-9 guys

Calipari straight up admitted that he didn’t bother installing offensive sets tonight and just let his players do their thing. One thing he did tinker with tonight was the rotation.

“I would say we’re probably going to be playing eight to nine guys,” Cal said on his postgame radio show. “If you look at what I saw with Bam [Adebayo], you better come with a motor to take his minutes or he’s going to play every minute he can play.”

Even though he started Derek Willis, Calipari said he was impressed by how well Wenyen Gabriel played and could envision using him as a three or a stretch four.

“I tried to do some stuff with Wenyen because I told Derek, Derek, I know who you are, I need to keep learning about this kid which is why I played him more,” Cal said of the versatile freshmen.

8. Mychal Mulder became an internet superstar

In a pun that should make all “X-Files” fans happy, if the first half belonged to Fox, the second belonged to Mulder. Mychal Mulder finished with 20 points off 8-13 shooting to go along with 11 rebounds. We’ve heard stories about how Mulder’s dominating in practice, and after a quiet night in UK’s first exhibition last week, he took over the second half. In the final minute of Kentucky’s win, Mulder got the crowd and the bench on their feet with this dunk that made him an instant internet superstar:


The bench’s reaction was priceless:

I mean, really, why did the Asbury guy bother jumping?

9. It’s about to get real

Ready for more basketball? You’re about to get a lot of it in the next few weeks. Starting with Friday’s season opener vs. Stephen F. Austin, Kentucky will play three games in five days, finishing up with Michigan State in Madison Square Garden on Tuesday. Cal’s giving his guys tomorrow off and then, it’s on.

“Well, I think they know, but I just told them, I said, we’re going to practice — we have off tomorrow, we’re practicing Tuesday, Wednesday. And we’re really going to get after it because Thursday I got to back up because we play three games in five days, including travel,” Cal said. “So, there are things we got to get done, and I think they know it. The things we’re doing in practice are bringing out that will to win.”

10. Calipari likes his team

Even though it sounded like he was battling a cold, Calipari’s swagger came through on his postgame radio show when he told Tom Leach and listeners that — wait for it — he likes his team.

“I really like my team. You would have to be crazy not to like them,” Cal said. “They’re great guys, they take care of business and they do what they do…and they can REALLY play.”

Yes, yes they can.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

14 Comments for 10 Notes from Kentucky’s historic 93-point romp over Asbury

  1. BTownUKFan
    10:32 pm November 6, 2016 Permalink

    Who will be the first to catch Fox standing next to Mulder with their backs facing a camera?

  2. plumloopy
    11:41 pm November 6, 2016 Permalink

    I just don’t get why we would play Asbury. What would we possibly learn from it? They’d get more challenge playing a high school regional all-star team.

    • UK Big Board Update
      2:51 am November 7, 2016 Permalink


    • plumloopy
      11:14 pm November 7, 2016 Permalink

      Because exhibition games should still showcase SOMETHING or provide some challenge or learning opportunity for the players. Have we EVER had such a lopsided exhibition game?

  3. Kyblue34
    12:12 am November 7, 2016 Permalink

    I know Cal doesn’t like redshirting guys, but why not redshirt Mulder or Hawkins? As it stands, we will have no scholarship guards returning, and it appears that Fox, Monk, and Briscoe are all good enough to play 30+ minutes.

    • Angelo
      1:21 am November 7, 2016 Permalink

      Great idea! We have five great guards and five great bigs. We have another two platoon team. Cal should redshirt Mulder, Hawkins and Willis. We will need all three next year!!

    • Angelo
      1:30 am November 7, 2016 Permalink

      Cal mentioned Gabriel as a possible three! Wow! I like your idea more and more!

    • cats paw
      6:42 am November 7, 2016 Permalink

      since they are the only players on the team that can shoot 3’s, Mulder and Willis should be starting and Briscoe should be on the bench. and yes i realize that only me and every pro scout in America are the ones that realize this…..

    • A_Blue_Wildcat
      8:52 am November 7, 2016 Permalink

      @cats paw , I know your a troll but honestly name one pro scout who says that Mulder should start over Briscoe.

  4. drwhite944
    1:27 am November 7, 2016 Permalink

    Well here is what I didn’t see: Cal talking to his players about how to behave during the National Anthem. Every year I see some of the same stuff and I wonder if he even thinks about it. Briscoe was swaying around like at a gospel revival and looking down with no hand over his heart, others were talking to each other or not paying attention and then I saw an action which I hope I am reading too much into. When the anthem got to the part of the “…Land of the Free..” near the end , Monk Dropped his hand from his heart. I hope that was just being tired and not in protest. Our season seats are where we can see past the flag on the floor to the players behind it and so I sometime catch glimpses of what they do but tonight I was watching a little more. As a veteran this whole protest thing irks me and had hoped that CAL’s talk about what they do reflects on the program was taken to heart. Would like to see a replay of it to make sure I am not right about it but it looked like it to me. But please talk to them about paying attention CAL!!!.

    • UK Big Board Update
      2:50 am November 7, 2016 Permalink

      Has anyone thought about WHY they are protesting? THAT is the real issue. You’re focusing on the wrong one.

    • cats paw
      6:52 am November 7, 2016 Permalink

      have you ever been led into a war behind the American flag? maybe you’re the one focusing on the wrong issue! if an opposing player disrespects a teams logo at mid field the players will brawl…. if a person burns a flag in public they would be curb stomped (because thats the symbol of what many died for)! if one of your hero’s disrespects the anthem then you applaud because you’re a cheerleader that gets your self worth thru wins/losses of a team that dont know you!

    • A_Blue_Wildcat
      8:56 am November 7, 2016 Permalink

      You’re overreacting to nothing. They clearly weren’t protesting anything and were just acting like normal college kids before a game. There’s literally nothing here to really complain about.

  5. drwhite944
    7:06 pm November 8, 2016 Permalink

    I served my country for people’s rights and that includes the right to free speech. A sporting event like this is not the venue for such displays in my opinion. Cal had a talk to them about their actions and what it reflects but like with many young people it may not have been heeded. I liked the video of the one coach having his team meet with veterans to learn about what the flag and their service means and what people in this country should respect. As I said, I hope I am overreacting but since I try to go to all the games, I will watch for it again and again and if it happens then it was not a mistake but.. instead someone trying to sneak something by without anyone noticing (otherwise why not be so grandiose as to kneel and display their intentions proudly if they are so proud of them). And to UK Big Board Update–it doesn’t call attention to any cause but moreover just to them doing something different and thinking something different. I thought UK players were supposed to have a little more class than to do something like that.