Kansas basketball: Devonte Graham will shine in Champions Classic

Lovell's SEC Basketball Predictions: Will undefeated streak continue?

"You can not play Popcorn State and learn anything", Calipari said.

But no matter what they're doing, KU coach Bill Self said he thought that waiting all day for a big game surrounded by a lot of hype was not the worst thing by any means. "This is ridiculous.' They just do an unbelievable job".

The UVM men's basketball team almost upset fourth-ranked Kentucky after drawing with three points in the final minute, but the Wildcats pulled out a 73-69 win on Sunday afternoon in Vermont's regular season opener.

The game is part of the Champions Classic being played in Chicago. Kansas opened the season with a 92-56 rout of Tennessee State Friday night.

I would really like to say that Kentucky is able to pull out a win in this one, but their early season struggles seem to indicate that Kansas will be the victor. Trae Bell-Haynes scored a team-high 16 points on 8-of-15 shooting.

That being said, it is not going to get any easier for the Wildcats, who will face the Kansas Jayhawks next. P.J. Washington was completely missing in action in the season opener but turned into "a beast", as Calipari called him, against Vermont.

"Even though we're not as young as Kentucky - I'm not saying that at all - we've only got three guys that have ever been in the fire before too", Self said. The common response to these annual warnings has included a subtle rolling of the eyes, and a silent retort, "Yeah Coach, we know".

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Washington and Diallo combined for nine of Kentucky's 14 field goals in the opening half. I found out Kevin (Knox) could make a shot. "We usually have shoot-around in the morning, get up and get a nice breakfast, come back and watch film and stuff like that". "Everybody is a victor".

"I love it when we win", he said. The Wildcats scored 73 points in both games, and allowed 63 and 69. Drew Urquhart added 13 points after making 5-of-8 attempts from the floor and Ernie Duncan posted 10 points after draining three triples. "It looks like to me they have several of those guys that are actually even longer than what their height is". The Cousins, Wall, Bledsoe group were quick learners, and we all know how competitive that team was as it ran through the regular season with only two losses, at SC and at Tennessee. And we're going to learn. On the one hand, you'd be hard pressed to find a team with more length, athleticism or skill on the wing. In the second half not quite as good.

Calipari also is anxious for his team's matchup against Kansas Tuesday. "They will play fast, bang bang, shoot threes and their guard play's unbelievable". Vermont is a quality team but they pretty much got the three-point looks they wanted to get, and Kentucky has also struggled to stop the ball from the basket at times. The Wildcats following this game will not see another ranked team until December 23rd when they battle UCLA.

It's not at all clear to me who this team's best player or players will be. Devante Graham is the leader of the team, and will be the starting point guard all season.

Kentucky (2-0) owns victories over Utah Valley and Vermont. Overall, the Catamounts are 0-3 against Florida, 0-2 against Georgia and Vanderbilt. In the final five minutes, Kentucky closed the first half on a 10-4 run for a 36-24 advantage at the break.

Kansas plays Kentucky and depending on which poll you look at Kansas is ranked 3rd or 4th and Kentucky is ranked 4th or 7th.

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