This Week in Kentucky Basketball History: Season-Opening Edition
On Tuesdays throughout the 2015-2016 season we will take a trip down memory lane and look back at past great plays, players and games associated with University of Kentucky men’s basketball for that given week. So be sure to check back with us each and every Tuesday to relive the moments that make the winningest Division I men’s basketball program so special.
• 2013: Leading UNC-Asheville by ten at halftime, No. 1 Kentucky put the game out of reach in the second half, outscoring the Bulldogs 48-26 en route to an 89-57 victory in their season opener. Five Wildcats scored in double figures, led by freshman Julius Randle's impressive collegiate debut. He had a double-double with 23 points and 16 rebounds.
• 2012: No. 3 Kentucky had control of Maryland heading into halftime, leading 49-36, and held on in the second half to defeat the Terrapins 72-69 in the Barclays Center Classic. The Wildcats were led in scoring by sophomore Kyle Wiltjer's 19 points, but it was 10 points by reserve Jarrod Polson that sparked the victory for Kentucky. The defense also chipped in, allowing Maryland to shoot just 33.3 percent from the field.
• 2013: No. 1 Kentucky overwhelmed intrastate foe Northern Kentucky in the first 20 minutes, outscoring the Norse 48-22, and cruised to a 93-63 victory. The Wildcats overpowered NKU on the boards, posting an impressive plus-28 rebounding margin. Freshman sensation Julius Randle picked up right where he left off in the season opener, posting another double-double with 22 points and 14 rebounds.
• 2011: Marist kept it competitive with No. 2 Kentucky in the first half, trailing 45-36, but the Wildcats outscored the Red Foxes 63-22 in the second half for a convincing 108-58 win in their season opener. The Wildcats had five players score at least 14 points, but it was freshman Anthony Davis who stole the show. Davis posted a double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds, and added five blocks on defense. This was Kentucky's largest win in a season opener since 1994.
• 2010: No. 11 Kentucky scored 50 first half points on their way to an 88-65 win over East Tennessee State in their season opener. The Wildcats were led by freshman Terrence Jones, leading the team in both points (25) and rebounds (12). Kentucky was effective shooting the ball from deep, making 13 three-point field goals, their most made in a season opener since 1991.
• 2005: Kentucky forced South Dakota State into 22 turnovers as the Wildcats defeated the Jackrabbits 71-54 in the Guardians Classic. Kentucky was led by sophomore Rajon Rondo, who did a little of everything on the court, finishing the game with 17 points, 12 rebounds, six assists and six steals.
• 2009: Kentucky held Morehead State to just 16.7-percent shooting from the 3-point line in the Wildcats' 75-59 victory over the intrastate foe Eagles. The Wildcats were led in scoring by freshman Eric Bledsoe's 24 points, and were also aided by Patrick Patterson's double-double of 20 points and 12 rebounds. This was the first game for Kentucky under new head coach John Calipari.
• 2005: Kentucky shot 50 percent from the field on their way to a 67-49 win over Lipscomb in the Guardians Classic. The Wildcats were led in scoring by Rajon Rondo, with 19 points.
• 2014: The No. 1 Kentucky Wildcats used a stifling defense, allowing just 16 first-half points, in their convincing 85-45 win over Grand Canyon in the inaugural Cadwood Ledford Classic. Kentucky was led in scoring by Andrew Harrison's 16 points, and sophomore Dakari Johnson had a double-double (10 points, 13 rebounds) in just 18 minutes of action. Kentucky held Grand Canyon to just 24.2 percent on its 2-point field goal attempts.