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

tournament.

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

hurt.

”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

for Marist.

”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

country.”

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

40 minutes.”