No. 2 Kentucky 108, Marist 58
Terrence Jones said he worked hard to show he was a leader on
the court this season for Kentucky. He’s the reason the
second-ranked Wildcats will have less free time off it.
Jones, a sophomore, came off the bench for eight points in
Kentucky’s 108-58 season-opening win over Marist on Friday night
after the university said he was involved as a passenger in an
early morning car accident.
Coach John Calipari said earlier in the day that he would
institute a curfew for the Wildcats.
”I felt I was doing a great example on the court. I still
believe that way,” said Jones, who like the rest of his teammates
will be forced to be back in their rooms at 11 p.m. on weekdays and
midnight on weekends. ”I take blame for being out that late, but I
mean, it’s just something that happened to cause all that.”
Anthony Davis had 23 points and 10 rebounds to join Jones and
Sam Bowie as the only freshmen in Kentucky history with 20-10 games
in their debuts.
Davis attacked the rim in the opener, finishing 10 of 13 with
eight dunks as Kentucky shrugged off a slow start with a dominant
second half that turned a single-digit lead into a 50-point blowout
in their first game of the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off
Fellow freshman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had 15 points, seven
rebounds, two blocks and two steals in his Rupp Arena debut.
”If Michael wasn’t out there and Anthony wasn’t out there,
we’re down at half,” Calipari said.
Kentucky’s next stop is New York City where the Wildcats will
face No. 13 Kansas in the State Farm Champions Classic on Tuesday
before heading to Uncasville, Conn., for two more games as part of
this early season tournament.
”I really think we’ll be fine,” Calipari said. ”I just don’t
know if we’re ready to play a team like Kansas.”
After Kentucky took a 45-36 lead in the first half, Doron Lamb
found Jones under the basket for a slam as the Wildcats scored the
first six points of the second half. Davis had consecutive slams as
the Wildcats pulled away with a 21-2 run that made it 72-42 with 12
minutes left. Kentucky’s biggest lead was the final margin.
Jones had 25 points and 12 rebounds in his debut last season and
Kentucky went on to the Final Four, losing in the national
semifinals to Connecticut. Bowie established the first such
performance in 1979.
”For me to be in that category is just awesome,” Davis said.
”Terrence and Sam, they’re great players and I’m just glad to be
in that category with them.”
Jones returned for his sophomore season and the Wildcats have
another impressive freshman class that includes Davis,
Kidd-Gilchrist, Marquis Teague and Kyle Wiltjer. Teague had 16
points, Lamb had 15 and Wiltjer added 14 for the Wildcats.
Calipari said early Friday that Jones, the Southeastern
Conference preseason player of the year, and teammate Stacey Poole
had been involved in a car accident, but neither was seriously
”He’ll be fine. He made a mistake. I don’t throw kids under the
bus,” Calipari said.
The Wildcats won their first two exhibition games by a combined
124 points, but Marist kept it close thorough the first half.
Isaiah Morton scored 13 points and Dorvell Carter finished with 12
”I thought we had a good game plan, spread them out,” Marist
coach Chuck Martin said. ”But they are the No. 2 team in the
Martin, who was on Calipari’s staff from Memphis from 2006-08,
has gone 7-56 over his last two seasons. But Carter’s 3-pointer
gave the Red Foxes an 18-17 lead before Jones entered the game.
Kentucky built a 32-23 lead, but Adam Kemp’s floater cut
Kentucky’s lead to 38-34 before the Wildcats went on a 7-0 run
capped when Jones hit a 3, then grabbed an offensive rebound on the
next possession and dunked over Manny Thomas.
Morton hit a jumper that made it 45-36 at the half, cutting
Kentucky’s lead single digits for the final time.
”We played with them in the first half,” Carter said. ”The
only thing we can learn is always come out and play hard the whole