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Men's Basketball

TV Info and Things to Know: Kentucky vs North Florida



UK Athletics

Following an embarrassing showing against Gonzaga, the Kentucky Wildcats will look to get back in the win column on Thanksgiving eve, playing the North Florida Ospreys.

This will be the second time the two teams have matched up, with the inaugural game being played last season with Kentucky winning 86-52. This season, the final score should look similar, with the Osprey’s being a sub-200 KenPom team for the second straight season.

Interestingly enough, the Ospreys and the Wildcats have three common opponents. Here is how the two teams have compared against those teams.

  • Duquense: UK won by 25, UNF lost by 1
  • Gonzaga: UK lost by 16, UNF lost by 41
  • South Carolina State: UK won by 43, UNF won by 6

North Florida’s star player is Carter Hendricksen, who is originally a Kentucky native from Mount Sterling. Prior to the season, Hendricksen received his third preseason All-ASUN First Team selection, and he is living up to that, averaging 14,7 points and 8 rebounds per game.

With the basics out of the way, let’s take a closer look at Wednesday’s matchup.

Could this be a Damion Collins breakout game?

Coming into college as a freshman, Collins stood 6-foot-9 with a 7-foot-3 wingspan but just 200 pounds. Returning with the same physically gifted length, Collins has added some extra weight and added to his skill set.

This paid off leading up to the season, with John Calipari saying that Collins was the best player in the team’s practices on his first call-in show of the season. However, Damion’s father Ben passed away just before the start of the regular season.

Calipari said it’s about helping Collins through the tragedy and getting him back to that level of confidence.


What better way to do that than to face a familiar foe?

Last season, Collins had one of the best performances of his college career against the Ospreys, recording his second-highest career totals in points (12) and rebounds (6).

Offensive Structure

Following the Gonzaga game, there was one fan that compared the Kentucky offense to a “chicken running around with it’s head cut off”. At times it certainly looked like that.

Look at this example, where poor execution and improvisation leads to a forced a 15-foot turnaround by Oscar Tshiebwe.


This is clearly not the offense that John Calipari wants, but he is the man in charge and has the task of fixing it.

Thus far, the Kentucky offense has been a tale of two sides.

Against inferior opponents, Kentucky’s offense has looked extremely dynamic, averaging 92.7 points on 52.9 percent shooting from the field and 47.8 percent from three.

However, against their two ranked opponents, the Kentucky offense has looked vastly different, averaging 74.5 points per contest on 39.6 percent shooting from the field and 26 percent from three.


One of the biggest reasons for this has been the lack of production from Fredrick-Reeves-Livingston in these big-time games. It’s important to play to their strengths and get them comfortable within the offense.

Last season, Kentucky lost early season matchups to Duke and Notre Dame and was seen as a title favorite in late January before injuries. I would argue that Michigan State and Gonzaga are better-quality losses, so hope is not lost for the Wildcats.

Yet, lineup and offense issues need to be examined and fixed in the coming weeks before competition starts to ramp back up.

More Effort

Kentucky came out of the gate unprepared. Pair this with a 5-5 start from the field from Gonzaga – including two three-pointers – vs a 1-7 start from the Wildcats, and the wind was taken out of their sails.


With that being said, that does not excuse a lack of effort. Which was made most evident by their 24-14 rebound disadvantage to Gonzaga in the first half.

Senior Jacob Toppin was the first to admit it. “We had no fight in the first half and we put ourselves in a hole that we couldn’t get out of,” Toppin said in the postgame press conference.

While North Florida shouldn’t pose a threat to win, the Wildcats need to respond to Sunday’s performance with fight. This needs to be shown on the boards and on the defensive end.

Kentucky Basketball vs. North Florida Ospreys

Time/Date: 3:00 ET November 23rd
Location: Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky
TV Channel: Only on streaming (SEC Network+)
Announcers: No announcers scheduled based on the ESPN Press schedule.
Online Stream: WatchESPNESPN+, SEC Network+, or the ESPN app.
Radio: Tom Leach and Jack Givens will have the UK radio network call on WLAP-AM 630, WBUL-FM 98.1, and the UK Sports Network.
Replay: WatchESPN and SEC Network (check local listings).
Rosters: UK | UNF
Stats To Know: UK | UNF
Team SheetsUK | UNF
Live Stats


Odds: The betting line has yet to be released. ESPN’s matchup predictor gives the Wildcats a 96.1% chance of winning, and Bart Torvik has it at 97%.

PredictionsBart Torvik has Kentucky winning in a blowout, with a final score of 86-64


Men's Basketball

Source: Antonio Reeves To Meet With Staff On Monday To Discuss Future Plans



© Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

Antonio Reeves announced he was withdrawing from the NBA Draft on Wednesday, but his intentions on whether or not to return to Kentucky were up in the air. Now, that remains the case, but a source told KY Insider on Friday that Reeves will be meeting with John Calipari on Monday to discuss his future plans.

Reeves has been contemplating a return to Kentucky, as both NIL and his role are major factors in his decision. There have also been multiple reports of a number of schools tampering with Reeves, even though he is not in the transfer portal, which in itself is interesting. That list of schools includes Illinois, Indiana, Memphis, Michigan, and Oklahoma.

A big decision for the basketball program, Reeves would be a much-needed shooting threat and veteran presence added to the current young team coming in. Kentucky’s No. 1 recruiting class needs veteran complementary pieces, and a star from last season’s team would certainly help.


Regarding a timetable for an announcement, one could assume that it should come soon after his meeting with the staff early next week.

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Men's Basketball

Five Schools Allegedly “Tampering” as They Recruit Antonio Reeves to Transfer



© Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday, Antonio Reeves was the lone Wildcat from last season to make the decision to withdraw from the NBA Draft and return to college. While he is returning to college, which college is yet to be determined.

Reports started surfacing a few weeks ago that schools were allegedly starting to contact Reeves through “backchannels” in an effort to get the reigning SEC Sixth Man of the Year to transfer. That has continued up to today, with five schools said to have contacted Reeves and trying to recruit him to transfer: Illinois, Indiana, Memphis, Michigan, and Oklahoma.

There are two things to point out in this situation. For one, Reeves is not in the transfer portal, and two, he has yet to graduate to become a grad transfer. According to the NCAA, if another school outside of Kentucky is contacting Reeves, that is considered “tampering” and is against the rules. Given the current state of college athletics, which has been likened to the “Wild Wild West”, this should come as no surprise.


Those around Reeves have said that his decision will primarily come down to two factors, role and NIL. From all sides, Reeves enjoyed his time and Kentucky last season, and those factors were met. Talking with KY Insider last season after the Kansas State game, Reeves said “I’d love to be back. I love the school. I love the fans. I love everybody here.”

John Calipari was expected to meet with Reeves but there have been no reports to confirm if that meeting has taken place. With that said, Reeves should certainly be Kentucky’s No. 1 priority given their need of shooting and a veteran presence.

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BB Recruiting

LOOK: Three Players of Kentucky Basketball’s Freshman Class Arrive on Campus



UK Athletics

Returning just two players that played 5+ minutes per game last season, the biggest thing giving Kentucky fans any sense of optimism or hope is the incoming freshman class.

Featuring five players in the top 45, including three in the top 10, the 2023 class is Kentucky’s second No. 1 class since 2015. Even more interesting, the class features two of the three top five prospects the Wildcats have signed in that same span. In other words, there are high expectations.

Of course, five freshmen and two returnees can’t win a National Title, but while we await the staff to fill next season’s roster, the freshmen have started to move into campus at the Wildcat Coal Lodge.


On Wednesday, Reed Sheppard kicked things off as he backed out of the Kentucky-Indiana High School All-Star Classic to move in early. As the official Kentucky men’s basketball account put it, “the Sheppard Family legacy continues.”

On Friday, two more members of the freshman class moved into campus, Rob Dillingham and Aaron Bradshaw.

With Sheppard, Dillingham, and Bradshaw now moved in, that leaves just Justin Edwards and DJ Wagner to make their moves. That is expected to happen this week. With Kentucky representing the United States in Canada for GLBL Jam, starting July 7th, it will be important for this team to start building chemistry.

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