It wasn't pretty (and in the first few minutes, it actually got a little scary), but the 2012-2013 University of Kentucky basketball team showed flashes of brilliance in its season opening exhibition win over Division II Northwood University.
-Just like in the Blue-White Game, Archie Goodwin shined on offense, leading the Wildcats with 22 points. Unlike in the Blue-White Game, his shooting was much better, going 7-of-12 from the floor and 1-of-2 from behind the arc.
-While pretty much everyone expected Nerlens Noel (17 points, 11 rebounds, 4 blocks) to be great (and he was), Willie Cauley-Stein (8 points, 9 rebounds, 2 blocks) also looked very good. The duo helped create a big lineup that will be incredibly hard for any team to match up against.
-The Wildcats were 6-of-9 from behind the three-point line, which is a great percentage no matter who you are playing against.
-UK had 11 total blocks and held Northwood to 36 percent from the floor.
-Kentucky turned the ball over 17 times, 11 of which came in the first half. That may be typical for the opening games of a Calipari team, but it was still at times hard to watch.
-The Wildcat defense would often get beat on the initial attack to the basket, but seemed to do an excellent job recovering, especially in the second half.
-The "twin tower" lineup of Cauley-Stein and Noel was a lot of fun to marvel at, but the time that the two were actually on the floor together also saw some of the worst basketball that the team played all evening.
-For those of you ready to start the annual "Why can't Cal's team shoot free throws?" siren, you got an early jump: UK was 17-25 from the line for 68 percent. Not terrible, but not very good, either.
-During the first half, Coach Calipari shouted "Get the ball, Archie!" so loud that it could be heard on television (and in some parts of eastern Kentucky).
-Nerlens Noel wore this hat while giving postgame interviews (h/t KentuckySportsRadio.com).
All stats obtained via UKAthletics.com
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