The #3 Kentucky Wildcats travel to Brooklyn, NY to play their season opener vs. the Maryland Terrapins in the Barclays Classic on ESPN at 8:30pm est.
The announcers for tonight’s game are Dave O’Brien and Dick Vitale.
Kentucky opened as a 16.5 point favorite, but the updated line has Kentucky -11.
The game will also be shown on ESPN3.com online.
Nation of Blue will also have a Live Chat to talk about the game starting around gametime.
Here is some background information on tonight’s matchup:
Kentucky owns an all-time record of 8-5 against Maryland. UK faced the Terps for the first time in the 1928 season, with the most recent matchup occuring in 2002. The Terps earned a 78-68 win in the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 on March 22, 2002.
The Terps return four key players from last season’s 17-15 squad: guards Nick Faust and Pe’Shon Howard, center Alex Len and forward James Padgett, and welcome a freshman class that was ranked in the top 20 nationally. Maryland also added two transfers who are eligible to play immediately in Dez Wells and Logan Aronhalt. Wells, who on Wednesday was cleared to play by the NCAA, is an athletic, physical and versatile guard. The sophomore averaged 9.8 points per game and 4.9 rebounds per game for Xavier last year. Aronhalt is a proven scorer that netted 1,100 points in his career at Albany.
The Wildcats own a 126-62 all-time record against schools comprising the Atlantic Coast Conference. UK has faced Georgia Tech more than any other member institution and owns a 56-15 all-time mark against the Yellow Jackets. UK’s most recent contest vs. an ACC school came against North Carolina, in a 73-72 win for the Wildcats on Dec. 3, 2011.
John Calipari has comprised a 17-10 all-time record against the ACC.
The Terps have won 10 straight season debuts, with the last loss coming to Arizona, 71-67, in the 2001 Coaches vs. Cancer semiﬁnals at Madison Square Garden.
Friday won’t be the ﬁ rst time Mark Turgeon and John Calipari have shared a basketball court together – their relationship goes back to Turgeon’s playing days at Kansas. Turgeon was a point guard at Kansas from 1984-87, while Calipari was an assistant coach there from 1983-85.
Kentucky is the only NCAA BCS level team in the nation to not return a single player with at least one start from the 2011-12 season.
Maryland defeated Indiana University of Pennsylvania, 73-61, in its lone exhibtion game of the year on Nov. 2.
The Terps recovered from a slow start to shoot 48 percent in the second half and outscore IUP 40-27 in the second stanza. Freshman Seth Allen led the team with 16 points on 4-of-9 shooting, including 5 of 5 at the stripe. He also added ﬁ ve assists and ﬁ ve steals without committing a turnover.
The Blue and White secured a pair of victories during exhbition games in 2012-13. UK earned wins over the No. 1 ranked preseason NAIA squad in Northwood, as well as a victory over in-town foe Transyvlania who was selected to win its conference. Freshmen Archie Goodwin and Nerlens Noel paced the scoring for UK both averaging 16.0 points per game. Noel and freshman Willie Cauley-Stein led the rebounding effort with an average of 7.5 and 6.5, respectively.Senior Julius Mays connected on 6-of-10 from the 3-point line to lead the outside shooting.
P # Name Pts. Rebs. Asts.
F 3 Nerlens Noel 16.0 7.5 2.5^ • Led the team with 16.0 ppg in exhibitions
G 10 Archie Goodwin 16.0 5.0 4.0 • Team-high 22 points vs. Northwood
G 12 Ryan Harrow 13.5 3.5 4.5 • Paced UK with nine assists in exhibitions
F 22 Alex Poythress 8.0 4.5 1.5 • Had 11 points and 7 rebounds vs. Northwood
F 33 Kyle Wiltjer 8.0 2.0 0.5^ • Team’s leading returning scorer
*Based on previous game; ^Blocks
No. Player Pos Ht Wt Yr Hometown PPG RPG Other
0 Charles Mitchell F 6-8 260 Fr. Marietta, Ga. – – 15 rebounds, 8 points in exhibition win over IUP
1 Evan Smotrycz F 6-9 230 Jr. Reading, Mass. 7.7 4.9 Must sit out 2012-13 season due to NCAA transfer rules
2 Logan Aronhalt G 6-3 205 Sr. Zanesville, Ohio 13.8 4.3 Scored 1,100 points in 3 years at Albany
4 Seth Allen G 6-1 190 Fr. Woodbridge, Va. – – Team-high 16 pts, 5 assists, 5 steals vs. IUP
5 Nick Faust G 6-6 205 So. Baltimore, Md. 8.9 4.0 Leading returning scorer at 8.9 ppg
10 Jake Layman G/F 6-8 205 Fr. Wrentham, Mass. – – Won gold medal with USA U18 team last summer
11 Varun Ram G 5-9 150 So. Clarksville, Md. 7.8 *2.5 Must sit out 2012-13 season due to NCAA transfer rules
12 Conner Lipinski G 5-10 155 Fr. Gambrills, Md. – – Scored 1,263 points in HS career
15 Spencer Barks F 6-9 225 So. Poolesville, Md. 0.4 0.4 Played in eight games as a freshman
21 Pe’Shon Howard G 6-3 190 Jr. Los Angeles, Calif. 6.5 *2.1 School’s active career leader in assists (158)
23 John Auslander F 6-7 220 Jr. Herndon, Va. 1.0 0.6 Appeared in 14 games last year
24 Jacob Susskind G 6-5 190 So. West Orange, N.J. 0.0 0.3 Appeared in six games last season
25 Alex Len C 7-1 255 So. Antratsit, Ukraine 6.0 5.4 Bulked up in offseason, adding 30 pounds of muscle
32 Dez Wells G/F 6-5 215 So. Raleigh, N.C. 9.8 4.9 2012 Sporting News A-10 Freshman of the Year
35 James Padgett F 6-8 235 Sr. Brooklyn, N.Y. 8.8 5.8 Nearly tripled RPG & PPG from soph. to jr. seasons
44 Shaquille Cleare C 6-9 265 Fr. Andros, Bahamas – – Top-30 prospect by ESPN.com
*assists per game; points/rebounds averages from 2011-12