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Breaking Down Kentucky’s Non-Conference Schedule

Coach John Calipari claimed to have a very tough non-conference schedule lined up for the 2020-2021, going so far as to say he may need to be drug tested, and boy did he deliver.

Kentucky will begin the season by hosting the Bluegrass Showcase featuring Morehead State, Detroit Mercy, and Richmond. The Wildcats will then travel to Indianapolis for the Champions Classic against Kansas on December 1st. They also have a trips to Atlanta and Cleveland to play Georgia Tech and UCLA respectively along with the trip to the Yum! Center to take on the Louisville Cardinals. A pair of marquee home games against Notre Dame and Texas round out the non-conference slate.

We’ll dive into the SEC schedule a different time, but let’s take a look at the nine non-conference games and what fans can expect from one of the most difficult schedules in the country.

Morehead State Eagles

2019-2020 Record:  13-19

Head Coach:  Preston Spradlin

Returning Starters

#0 Tyzhaun Claude:  6’8” 240 lbs, Sophomore

9.5 points per game, 6.4 rebounds per game. 59.7 FG%. Started 19 games as a Freshman.

#3 James Baker Jr.:  6’6” 205 lbs, Senior

9.1 points per game, 4.4 rebounds per game. One of the top shot blockers in the OVC.

Other Expected Contributors

#55 Ta’lon Cooper:  6’4” 190 lbs, Sophomore

7.0 points per game, 3.1 assists per game. Shot 38.8% from 3 (31/80).

#1 Devon Cooper:  6’4” 201 lbs, Redshirt Junior

Started all 33 games as a Sophomore. Received medical redshirt after playing five games last season. 8.8 points per game, 3.4 rebounds per game as a Sophomore.

#22 LJ Bryan:  6’9” 235 lbs, Junior

4.6 points per game, 3.3 rebounds per game. Started 13 games as a Sophomore.

#23 Jaylen Sebree:  6’7” 200 lbs, Junior

Transfer from Florida Atlantic. 3.6 points per game as a Sophomore at FAU. Former Kentucky Mr. Basketball Finalist at Christian County.

#2 KJ Hunt Jr.:  6’3” 170 lbs, Redshirt Junior

Transfer from McNeese State. Sat out last season due to transfer rules. 6.9 points per game as a Sophomore at McNeese State.

#5 Skyelar Potter:  6’3” 198 lbs, Junior

Transfer from Wright State. 6.4 points per game as a Sophomore, 5.8 points per game as a Freshman.

Detroit Mercy

2019-2020 Record:  8-23

Head Coach:  Mike Davis

Returning Starters

#0 Antonio Davis:  6’1” 165 lbs, Junior

24.3 points per game, 4.5 assists per game. Shooting splits: 38%/32.4%/90.1%. Two time First Team All-Horizon League. Fourth leading scorer in the country last season and made the ninth most 3-pointers.

#21 Chris Brandon:  6’8” 212 lbs, Junior

6.3 points per game, 8.1 rebounds per game (3.1 offensive), 1.4 blocks per game. Jai Lucas’ cousin.

Other Expected Contributors

#4 Dwayne Rose Jr.:  6’4” 195 lbs, Senior

7.3 points per game. Derrick Rose’s nephew. Made eight starts last season, including the final seven games of the season.

#41 Willy Isiani:  6’8” 230 lbs, Junior

4.9 points per game. 3.3 rebounds per game. Started 15 games, including the final five games of the season.

#12 Brad Calipari:  6’0” 180 lbs, Graduate Student

6.1 points per game. Started six games and played in 27. 38% from 3 (led team).

Incoming Transfers

#15 Taurean Thompson:  6’11” 245 lbs, Graduate Transfer

4.6 points per game, 2.3 rebounds per game at Seton Hall. 13 points and six rebounds in win over Kentucky.

#25 Marquell Fraser:  6’5” 200 lbs, Graduate Transfer

7.1 points per game, 3.9 rebounds per game at Idaho over two seasons. Started 13 games.

#13 Matt Johnson:  6’4” 180 lbs, Senior

Played in 22 games with one start last year at St. Bonaventure.

#10 Bul Kuol:  6’7” 205 lbs, Graduate Transfer

5.6 points per game, 3.1 rebounds per game last season at Cal Baptist. Played in 91 games with 39 starts in career at Cal Baptist.

#1 Noah Waterman:  6’11” 210 lbs, Redshirt Freshman

7.0 points per game, 3.3 rebounds per game in seven games at Niagara last season. Missed remainder of the season with an injury. Still awaiting immediate eligibility decision.

Richmond Spiders

2019-2020 Record:  24-7

Head Coach:  Chris Mooney

Returning Starters

#1 Blake Francis:  6’0” 175 lbs, Graduate Student

17.7 points per game. 66/182 from 3-point range. Second Team All-A10.

#33 Grant Golden:  6’10” 255 lbs, Graduate Student

13.4 points per game, 6.9 rebounds per game, 3.4 assists per game. 3x All-A10 (2x Second Team, 1x Third Team). 1,472 career points, 12th most among active players.

#0 Jacob Gilyard:  5’9” 160 lbs, Senior

12.7 points per game, 5.7 assists per game, 3.2 steals per game (led NCAA). Most career steals in NCAA among active players.

#4 Nathan Cayo:  6’7” 225 lbs, Senior

8.9 points per game, 5.3 rebounds per game.

Expected Fifth Starter

#22 Andre Gustavson:  6’4” 195 lbs, Junior

4.4 points per game. Started six games last season.

Kansas Jayhawks

2019-2020 Record:  28-3

Head Coach:  Bill Self

Returning Starters

#30 Ochai Agbaji:  6’5″ 210 lbs, Junior

10.0 points per game, 4.2 rebounds per game. Started all 31 games last season.

#0 Marcus Garrett:  6’5″ 195 lbs, Senior

9.2 points per game, 4.5 rebounds per game, 4.6 assists per game. Started all 31 games last season.

#33 David McCormack:  6’10” 265 lbs, Junior

6.9 points per game, 4.1 rebounds per game. Started 18 games last season.

Impact Freshman

#24 Bryce Thompson:  6’5″ 188 lbs, Freshman

Ranked #21 in the county by 247 Sports. 5-star Combo Guard.

Other Returning Contributors

#2 Christian Braun:  6’6″ 205 lbs, Sophomore

5.3 points per game. Played in all 31 games last season.

#13 Tristian Enaruna:  6’8″ 200 lbs, Sophomore

2.4 points per game, 2.2 rebounds per game. Appeared in 30 games last season.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

2019-2020 Record:  17-14

Head Coach:  Josh Pastner

Returning Starters

#0 Michael Devoe:  6’5″ 197 lbs, Junior

16.0 points per game, 3.9 rebounds per game, 3.4 assists per game. 42.7% from 3-point range (53/124).

#10 Jose Alvarado:  6’0″ 179 lbs, Senior

14.4 points per game, 3.4 rebounds per game, 3.4 assists per game.

#5 Moses Wright:  6’9″ 233 lbs, Senior

13.0 points per game, 7.0 rebounds per game.

#4 Jordan Usher:  6’7″ 213 lbs, Senior

8.2 points per game, 4.4 rebounds per game.

Other Returning Contributors

#3 Bubba Parham:  5’10” 162 lbs, Senior

5.2 points per game. Played in all 31 games clocking over 26 minutes per game. (Unrelated, how is Bubba Parham still in college)?!

#12 Khalid Moore:  6’7″ 200 lbs, Junior

3.3 points per game, 2.1 rebounds per game. Appeared in 29 games, starting 12 of them.

Impact Newcomers

#1 Kyle Strudivant:  6’2″ 198 lbs, Sophomore

2.0 points per game, 1.2 assists per game. Played in 21 games as a Freshman at USC.

#24 Rodney Howard:  6’10” 241 lbs, Sophomore

1.3 points per game. Played in 24 games and started two as a Freshman at Georgia.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

2019-2020 Record:  20-12

Head Coach:  Mike Brey

Returning Starters

#3 Prentiss Hubb:  6’3″ 175 lbs, Junior

12.1 points per game, 5.1 assists per game.

#11 Juwan Durham:  6’11” 231 lbs, Graduate Student

7.8 points per game, 4.6 rebounds per game, 2.1 blocks per game.

Other Returning Contributors

#23 Dane Goodwin:  6’6″ 200 lbs, Junior

10.8 points per game, 3.8 rebounds per game. 37.7% from 3-point range (52/138).

#14 Nate Laszewski:  6’10” 227 lbs, Junior

7.4 points per game, 4.6 rebounds per game.

UCLA Bruins

2019-2020 Record:  19-12

Head Coach:  Mick Cronin

Returning Starters

#5 Chris Smith:  6’9″ 215 lbs, Senior

13.1 points per game, 5.4 rebounds per game.

#24 Jalen Hill:  6’10” 245 lbs, Redshirt Junior

9.0 points per game, 6.9 rebounds per game.

#4 Jaime Jaquez Jr.:  6’6″ 220 lbs, Sohomore

8.9 points per game, 4.8 rebounds per game.

#10 Tyger Campbell:  5’11” 180 lbs, Redshirt Sophomore

8.3 points per game, 5.0 assists per game.

Other Returning Contributors

#2 Cody Riley:  6’9″ 255 lbs, Redshirt Junior

8.8 points per game, 4.5 rebounds per game. Started 17 games last season.

#34 David Singleton:  6’4″ 210 lbs, Junior

4.1 points per game. Started 14 games last season.

Impact Newcomers

#3 Johnny Juzang:  6’6″ 210 lbs, Sophomore

2.9 points per game. Played in 28 games and started two last season at Kentucky.

#0 Jaylen Clark:  6’5″ 195 lbs, Freshman

4-star recruit. Ranked #115 in the country by 247 Sports.

Louisville Cardinals

2019-2020 Record:  24-7

Head Coach:  Chris Mack

Returning Starters

None

Other Returning Contributors

#5 Malik Williams:  6’11” 250 lbs, Senior

8.5 points per game, 6.1 rebounds per game. Suffered broken bone in right foot, out 12 weeks.

#13 David Johnson:  6’5″ 210 lbs, Sophomore

6.3 points per game.

#10 Samuell Williamson:  6’7″ 210 lbs, Sophomore

4.4 points per game.

Impact Newcomers

#1 Carlik Jones:  6’1″ 185 lbs, Graduate Student

20.0 points per game, 5.1 rebounds per game, 5.5 assists per game at Radford last season. Big South Player of the Year.

#21 Charles Minlend:  6’4″ 220 lbs, Graduate Student

14.5 points per game, 4.7 rebounds per game at San Francisco last season. Second Team All-WCC.

#14 Dre Davis:  6’5″ 220 lbs, Freshman

4-star recruit. Ranked #109 in the country.

#12 JJ Traynor:  6’8″ 200 lbs, Freshman

4-star recruit. Ranked #121 in the country.

Texas Longhorns

2019-2020 Record:  19-12

Head Coach:  Shaka Smart

Returning Starters

#2 Matt Coleman III:  6’2″ 180 lbs, Senior

12.7 points per game, 3.0 rebounds per game, 3.4 assists per game. 39.5% from 3-point range.

#3 Courtney Ramey:  6’3″ 185 lbs, Junior

10.9 point per game, 3.9 rebounds per game.

#20 Jericho Sims:  6’10” 245 lbs Senior

9.7 points per game, 8.2 rebounds per game.

#13 Jase Febres:  6’5″ 195 lbs, Senior

9.3 points per game. 37.4% from 3-point range.

Other Returning Contributors

#1 Andrew Jones:  6’4″ 192 lbs, Redshirt Junior

11.5 points per game. 38.3% from 3-point range. Started 11 games last season.

#0 Gerald Liddell:  6’8″ 205 lbs, Junior

4.4 points per game, 3.3 rebounds per game.

#10 Donovan Williams:  6’6″ 190 lbs, Sophomore

3.3 points per game.

#33 Kamaka Hepa:  6’9″ 220 lbs, Junior

2.8 points per game. Started 10 games last season.

#5 Royce Hamm Jr.:  6’9″ 225 lbs, Senior

2.7 points per game, 2.7 rebounds per game. Started 7 games last season.

Impact Newcomers

#4 Greg Brown:  6’9″ 205 lbs, Freshman

5-star recruit. Ranked #9 in the country by 247 Sports.

@BRamseyKSR

Article written by Brandon Ramsey