Kentucky got a nice, well-rounded performance from its deep rotation, as the Wildcats defeated Albany 78-65 in its season opener.
Overall, it wasn’t the prettiest game for the Wildcats, and John Calipari won’t be extremely pleased with how it went, as Kentucky seemed to coast through some portions of the game and turned the ball over 20 times. But the story of this one was highly-regarded freshman Jamal Murray, as he scored 19 to lead the way for the Wildcats in his debut. He also threw down four massive dunks including these two in the second half.
Previously little-used junior Derek Willis also scored 14 points off the bench, and made his case for a bigger role as a spot-up shooter who can also slash and attack closeouts.
It was a bit of an uneven night for other Kentucky guys. Tyler Ulis and Marcus Lee each scored 12 and had active nights, but Skal Labissiere was held scoreless in the first half and only ended up with nine points and five rebounds. Alex Poythress was at least active in his return game, but he struggled with foul trouble and only scored two points.
Overall, Kentucky will be happy with the win but there ball control and defensive intensity will be something for Calipari to work on in the coming days before the team plays Duke on Tuesday.