basketball | ncaab

Morehead St. Eagles vs. Kentucky Wildcats Pick & Prediction NOV 25TH 2020

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The Kentucky basketball team is used to starting over, and this season is no different as the No. 10 Wildcats open the slate against visiting Morehead State on Wednesday.

Six underclassmen from last season's team entered the NBA draft -- three were selected -- so it again will be a sea of new faces when Kentucky takes the court at Rupp Arena in Lexington.

Sophomore forward Keion Brooks Jr. is the lone returner who was part of the rotation last season. Brooks averaged 15.1 minutes while contributing 4.5 points and 3.2 rebounds per game.

Brooks is now a team leader after the departures of first-round draft choices Tyrese Maxey and Immanuel Quickley, second-round selection Nick Richards and the undrafted trio of Ashton Hagans, EJ Montgomery and Nate Sestina. In addition, reserve Johnny Juzang transferred to UCLA.

"It's just a different team, a whole different dynamic," Brooks said. "I can't pinpoint one moment when I really noticed it. It's just, like I said, a different team, a different group of personalities. It takes some adjusting to getting used to.

"I was just accustomed to seeing Ashton, seeing Tyrese, Johnny, all those guys every day. But you know, that's kind of what you signed up for when you came to Kentucky. People aren't going to be here long."

The Wildcats (25-6 last season) have won all 10 meetings with Morehead State, which is located approximately 65 miles east of Lexington.

Kentucky will break in its new highly acclaimed players against the Eagles in the four-team Bluegrass Showcase. Richmond and Detroit Mercy are part of the three-game, round-robin event being played over five days.

Shooting guards Brandon Boston Jr. and Terrence Clarke are considered the best players of the freshman class while point guard Devin Askew also will be an immediate contributor. Big men Isaiah Jackson and Lance Ware and small forward Cam'Ron Fletcher also are slated to make impacts.

Wildcats coach John Calipari also scored well on the transfer market by landing senior center Olivier Sarr (Wake Forest), senior point guard Davion Mintz (Creighton) and sophomore forward Jacob Toppin (Rhode Island).

The 7-foot Sarr averaged 13.7 points and 9.0 rebounds while being a third-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference choice last season.

"Olivier is a really skilled player," Ware said. "Olivier can really shoot it, very versatile. Obviously, (Olivier) being an older guy and just his knowledge of the game and his ability to rebound, block shots, it's all there."

Mintz started 79 games at Creighton before missing last season with an ankle injury. Toppin averaged 5.1 points and 3.9 rebounds in his one season with the Rams.

Toppin is the younger brother of Obi Toppin, the eighth overall pick in the NBA draft by the New York Knicks after being the consensus national player of the year last season for Dayton.

Morehead State, which went 13-19 in 2019-20, has experienced four consecutive losing seasons. The Eagles were just 2-14 in road games last season.

Morehead State coach Preston Spradlin knows his club will have its hands full with the Wildcats.

"Kentucky has a great tradition, and they'll have a lot of talented freshmen and transfers once again," Spradlin said. "So it will present a great challenge right away."

Senior forward James Baker Jr. is the Eagles' top returning player and has started 53 games over the past two seasons. He blocked 42 shots last season while averaging 9.1 points and 4.4 rebounds.

Morehead State hasn't been part of the NCAA Tournament since school legend Kenneth Faried led them to the Big Dance in 2009 and 2011. But being part of Kentucky's season-opening event gives the squad a taste of the big time.

Plus, getting on the court is a feel-good moment in the eyes of Spradlin with the coronavirus pandemic causing so much havoc around the nation.

"We are excited to get the season kicked off in general, especially with all the things that have happened over the last eight months," Spradlin said.

--Field Level Media

Prediction

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GAMES

Last 10

W 11% L 89%
1 8
  • @Detroit Mercy D 0 - 0
  • @Kentucky L 45 - 81
  • @Tennessee St. L 67 - 74
  • @Eastern Kentucky L 76 - 80
  • @Austin Peay L 58 - 67
  • Tennessee St. W 63 - 66
  • Belmont L 80 - 67
  • @Murray St. L 57 - 85
  • Eastern Kentucky L 78 - 71
  • @Eastern Illinois L 65 - 71
W 89% L 11%
8 1
  • Detroit Mercy D 0 - 0
  • Morehead St. W 45 - 81
  • @Florida W 71 - 70
  • Tennessee L 81 - 73
  • Auburn W 66 - 73
  • @Texas A&M W 69 - 60
  • Florida W 59 - 65
  • @Louisiana State W 79 - 76
  • Mississippi W 62 - 67
  • @Vanderbilt W 78 - 64

Next Games

  • Richmond(12-31-69)
  • @Detroit Mercy(11-29-20) D 0 - 0
  • @Ohio St.(12-13-14) L 71 - 87
  • Detroit Mercy(11-27-20) D 0 - 0
  • Richmond(12-31-69)
  • @Kansas(11-14-17) L 61 - 65

Last Meetings

  • Eagles @ Wildcats 45-81
  • Eagles @ Wildcats 70-81
  • Eagles @ Wildcats 59-75

Mid-American

EastWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
Ohio Bobcats201.000 0-02-084.066.5W22-0-0
Miami (OH) Red Hawks101.000 1-00-081.067.0W11-0-0
Bowling Green Falcons01.000 0-00-182.096.0L10-0-1

America East

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
New Hampshire Wildcats101.000 1-00-093.054.0W11-0-0
Massachusetts Lowell River Hawks101.000 0-01-076.068.0W11-0-0
MD Baltimore County Retrievers01.000 0-00-162.070.0L10-0-1

American Athletic Conference

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
South Florida Bulls101.000 1-00-094.084.0W11-0-0
Houston Cougars101.000 1-00-089.045.0W11-0-0
Southern Methodist Mustangs101.000 1-00-097.067.0W11-0-0
Memphis Tigers11.500 0-11-071.065.5L11-0-1

Atlantic 10

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
Davidson Wildcats101.000 1-00-082.073.0W11-0-0
Saint Louis Billikens101.000 1-00-089.052.0W11-0-0
VCU Rams11.500 0-01-175.573.5L11-0-1
St. Joseph's (PA) Hawks01.000 0-10-091.096.0L10-0-1
La Salle Explorers01.000 0-00-165.082.0L10-0-1
George Washington Colonials01.000 0-00-171.078.0L10-0-1
Rhode Island Rams02.000 0-20-076.081.5L20-0-2

Atlantic Coast

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
Virginia Cavaliers101.000 1-00-089.054.0W11-0-0
Louisville Cardinals101.000 1-00-079.044.0W11-0-0
Virginia Tech Hokies101.000 1-00-077.062.0W11-0-0
North Carolina Tar Heels101.000 1-00-079.060.0W11-0-0
Wake Forest Demon Deacons101.000 1-00-0111.051.0W11-0-0
Clemson Tigers101.000 0-01-053.042.0W11-0-0
NC State Wolfpack101.000 1-00-095.061.0W11-0-0
Boston College Eagles11.500 0-11-068.070.0L11-0-1
Pittsburgh Panthers01.000 0-10-070.080.0L10-0-1
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets01.000 0-10-0120.0123.0L10-0-1

Atlantic Sun

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
Florida Gulf Coast Eagles101.000 1-00-065.056.0W11-0-0
North Alabama Lions101.000 1-00-098.074.0W11-0-0
Jacksonville Dolphins101.000 1-00-099.057.0W11-0-0
Kennesaw St. Fighting Owls101.000 1-00-087.040.0W11-0-0
Liberty Flames11.500 0-01-174.075.0L11-0-1
North Florida Osprey01.000 0-10-067.080.0L10-0-1

Big 12

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
West Virginia Mountaineers201.000 2-00-078.568.5W22-0-0
Texas Tech Red Raiders101.000 1-00-0101.058.0W11-0-0
Oklahoma State Cowboys101.000 0-01-075.068.0W11-0-0
Texas Longhorns101.000 1-00-091.055.0W11-0-0
Texas Christian Horned Frogs101.000 1-00-069.045.0W11-0-0
Kansas Jayhawks01.000 0-00-190.0102.0L10-0-1
Kansas State Wildcats01.000 0-10-070.080.0L10-0-1

Big East

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
Xavier Musketeers201.000 2-00-076.049.5W22-0-0
St. John's Red Storm201.000 2-00-079.070.0W22-0-0
Connecticut Huskies101.000 1-00-0102.075.0W11-0-0
Butler Bulldogs101.000 1-00-066.062.0W11-0-0
Marquette Golden Eagles101.000 1-00-099.057.0W11-0-0
Villanova Wildcats101.000 0-01-076.067.0W11-0-0
Providence Friars101.000 1-00-097.056.0W11-0-0
Georgetown Hoyas101.000 1-00-070.062.0W11-0-0

Big Sky

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
Sacramento State Hornets101.000 1-00-0101.057.0W11-0-0
Montana St. Bobcats101.000 0-01-091.078.0W11-0-0
Weber St. Wildcats101.000 1-00-088.060.0W11-0-0
Southern Utah Thunderbirds01.000 0-00-183.085.0L10-0-1
Idaho State Bengals01.000 0-00-149.062.0L10-0-1

Big South

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
South Carolina Upstate Spartans01.000 0-10-072.082.0L10-0-1
Charleston Southern Buccaneers01.000 0-00-161.095.0L10-0-1
Radford Highlanders01.000 0-00-162.077.0L10-0-1
High Point Panthers01.000 0-00-173.082.0L10-0-1

Big Ten

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
Illinois Fighting Illini201.000 2-00-0109.549.0W22-0-0
Maryland Terrapins101.000 1-00-085.067.0W11-0-0
Michigan St Spartans101.000 1-00-083.067.0W11-0-0
Minnesota Golden Gophers101.000 1-00-099.069.0W11-0-0
Michigan Wolverines101.000 1-00-096.082.0W11-0-0
Ohio St Buckeyes101.000 1-00-094.067.0W11-0-0
Iowa Hawkeyes101.000 1-00-097.067.0W11-0-0
Rutgers Scarlet Knights101.000 1-00-086.063.0W11-0-0
Purdue Boilermakers101.000 1-00-077.064.0W11-0-0
Wisconsin Badgers101.000 1-00-077.067.0W11-0-0
Indiana Hoosiers101.000 1-00-089.059.0W11-0-0
Nebraska Cornhuskers11.500 1-10-084.062.0L11-0-1

Big West

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
CSU Northridge Matadors101.000 1-00-097.079.0W11-0-0
UC Irvine Anteaters01.000 0-00-172.086.0L10-0-1
UC Riverside Highlanders01.000 0-00-160.066.0L10-0-1
UC Davis Aggies01.000 0-00-193.0101.0L10-0-1

Colonial Athletic Association

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
Elon University Phoenix101.000 1-00-082.052.0W11-0-0
James Madison Dukes101.000 1-00-089.055.0W11-0-0
NC-Wilmington Seahawks01.000 0-00-176.098.0L10-0-1
Charleston Cougars01.000 0-00-160.079.0L10-0-1
Towson Tigers02.000 0-00-261.084.0L20-0-2

Conference USA

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers201.000 0-02-084.078.0W22-0-0
Florida International Golden Panthers101.000 1-00-085.081.0W11-0-0
UAB Blazers101.000 1-00-099.050.0W11-0-0
North Texas Mean Green Eagles101.000 1-00-0116.062.0W11-0-0
Texas-El Paso Miners101.000 1-00-0100.081.0W11-0-0
Florida Atlantic Owls01.000 0-00-166.068.0L10-0-1
Middle Tennessee St. Blue Raiders01.000 0-10-059.060.0L10-0-1
Old Dominion Monarchs01.000 0-00-167.085.0L10-0-1

Horizon League

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons101.000 1-00-067.063.0W11-0-0
Northern Kentucky Norse101.000 1-00-074.073.0W11-0-0
Illinois-Chicago Flames101.000 0-01-065.061.0W11-0-0
Green Bay Phoenix01.000 0-00-169.099.0L10-0-1
Oakland Golden Grizzlies02.000 0-10-151.090.5L20-0-2

Metro Atlantic Athletic

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
Quinnipiac Bobcats101.000 1-00-084.066.0W11-0-0
St. Peter's Peacocks01.000 0-00-175.076.0L10-0-1
Fairfield Stags01.000 0-00-156.097.0L10-0-1

Mid-Eastern Athletic

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
North Carolina Central Eagles11.500 0-01-176.087.5L11-0-1
South Carolina State Bulldogs01.000 0-10-061.081.0L10-0-1
Delaware State Hornets01.000 0-00-151.0111.0L10-0-1
Morgan St. Bears01.000 0-10-055.062.0L10-0-1
Howard Bison01.000 0-10-078.095.0L10-0-1
Florida A&M Rattlers01.000 0-00-156.065.0L10-0-1
North Carolina A&T Aggies02.000 0-10-166.0103.0L20-0-2

Missouri Valley

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
Drake Bulldogs101.000 0-01-080.070.0W11-0-0
Bradley Braves11.500 1-00-155.555.0L11-0-1
Illinois St. Redbirds01.000 0-00-167.094.0L10-0-1
Evansville Purple Aces01.000 0-00-144.079.0L10-0-1
Northern Iowa Panthers02.000 0-10-175.579.5L20-0-2

Mountain West

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
Nevada Wolf Pack201.000 1-01-065.557.0W22-0-0
San Diego St. Aztecs101.000 1-00-073.058.0W11-0-0
Fresno St. Bulldogs101.000 1-00-087.047.0W11-0-0
UNLV Runnin' Rebels01.000 0-10-078.091.0L10-0-1
Utah St. Aggies02.000 0-10-164.084.0L20-0-2

Northeast

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers101.000 0-01-062.055.0W11-0-0
St. Francis (PA) Red Flash101.000 0-01-080.070.0W11-0-0
Sacred Heart Pioneers01.000 0-00-163.086.0L10-0-1
Central Conn. St. Blue Devils01.000 0-00-175.0102.0L10-0-1
Fairleigh Dickinson Knights01.000 0-00-166.084.0L10-0-1

Ohio Valley

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
Austin Peay Governors201.000 1-01-069.566.0W22-0-0
Belmont Bruins101.000 0-01-095.078.0W11-0-0
Eastern Kentucky Colonels101.000 0-01-080.067.0W11-0-0
Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles01.000 0-00-159.089.0L10-0-1
Eastern Illinois Panthers01.000 0-00-167.077.0L10-0-1
Jacksonville St. Gamecocks01.000 0-00-157.081.0L10-0-1
Morehead St. Eagles01.000 0-00-145.081.0L10-0-1
SIU - Edwardsville Cougars02.000 0-00-266.591.5L20-0-2

Pacific-12

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
Southern California Trojans101.000 1-00-095.087.0W11-0-0
Arizona State Sun Devils101.000 0-01-094.088.0W11-0-0
Oregon St. Beavers101.000 1-00-071.063.0W11-0-0
Washington St. Cougars101.000 1-00-056.052.0W11-0-0
Colorado Buffaloes101.000 1-00-084.061.0W11-0-0
California Golden Bears11.500 1-00-174.566.0L11-0-1
UCLA Bruins01.000 0-00-158.073.0L10-0-1

Patriot League

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
Navy Midshipmen101.000 1-00-078.071.0W11-0-0
Army Black Knights101.000 1-00-093.032.0W11-0-0

Southeastern

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
Arkansas Razorbacks101.000 1-00-0142.062.0W11-0-0
Alabama Crimson Tide101.000 1-00-081.057.0W11-0-0
Louisiana State Tigers101.000 1-00-094.081.0W11-0-0
Missouri Tigers101.000 1-00-091.064.0W11-0-0
Kentucky Wildcats101.000 1-00-081.045.0W11-0-0
Auburn Tigers101.000 0-01-096.091.0W11-0-0
Mississippi State Bulldogs02.000 0-20-057.568.5L20-0-2

Southern

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
Furman Paladins101.000 1-00-095.062.0W11-0-0
Western Carolina Catamounts101.000 1-00-098.076.0W11-0-0
Wofford Terriers101.000 1-00-088.049.0W11-0-0
Mercer Bears101.000 1-00-079.048.0W11-0-0
VMI Keydets101.000 1-00-090.063.0W11-0-0
The Citadel Bulldogs101.000 1-00-089.064.0W11-0-0
Chattanooga Mocs101.000 1-00-099.063.0W11-0-0
East Tennessee St. Buccaneers02.000 0-00-256.568.5L20-0-2

Southland

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
Texas A&M CC Islanders101.000 1-00-064.053.0W11-0-0
Nicholls State Colonels101.000 1-00-0101.093.0W11-0-0
Abilene Christian Wildcats101.000 1-00-070.047.0W11-0-0
Northwestern St. Demons01.000 0-00-158.0101.0L10-0-1
McNeese St. Cowboys01.000 0-00-155.0102.0L10-0-1
Southeastern Louisiana Lions01.000 0-00-163.067.0L10-0-1
Sam Houston St. Bearkats01.000 0-00-167.097.0L10-0-1
Houston Baptist Huskies01.000 0-00-145.069.0L10-0-1
Lamar Cardinals01.000 0-00-145.089.0L10-0-1

Southwestern Athletic

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
Texas Southern Tigers01.000 0-00-152.056.0L10-0-1
Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions01.000 0-00-157.099.0L10-0-1
Prairie View A&M Panthers01.000 0-00-166.071.0L10-0-1
Southern Jaguars01.000 0-10-078.085.0L10-0-1
Grambling State Tigers01.000 0-00-153.069.0L10-0-1
Alcorn St. Braves01.000 0-00-150.099.0L10-0-1
Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils02.000 0-00-262.0129.0L20-0-2

Summit

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
Kansas City Kangaroos101.000 1-00-0105.035.0W11-0-0
Nebraska Omaha Mavericks11.500 0-11-063.065.5L11-0-1
South Dakota State Jackrabbits11.500 1-00-177.069.0L11-0-1
South Dakota Coyotes01.000 0-00-161.084.0L10-0-1
Oral Roberts Golden Eagles01.000 0-00-164.091.0L10-0-1
North Dakota Fighting Hawks01.000 0-00-167.081.0L10-0-1
North Dakota State Bison01.000 0-00-148.062.0L10-0-1

Sun Belt

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
Little Rock Trojans101.000 1-00-071.066.0W11-0-0
Appalachian St. Mountaineers101.000 0-01-081.061.0W11-0-0
South Alabama Jaguars101.000 1-00-068.066.0W11-0-0
Texas State Bobcats101.000 1-00-098.059.0W11-0-0
Georgia Southern Eagles101.000 1-00-097.065.0W11-0-0
Georgia St. Panthers101.000 0-01-0123.0120.0W11-0-0
Texas-Arlington Mavericks01.000 0-10-068.075.0L10-0-1

West Coast

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
Pepperdine Waves101.000 1-00-086.072.0W11-0-0
Gonzaga Bulldogs101.000 1-00-0102.090.0W11-0-0
Santa Clara Broncos101.000 1-00-062.049.0W11-0-0
Pacific Tigers101.000 1-00-066.060.0W11-0-0
Brigham Young Cougars101.000 1-00-0108.059.0W11-0-0
Loyola Marymount Lions101.000 1-00-085.083.0W11-0-0
St. Mary's Gaels11.500 1-10-061.068.5L11-0-1
San Francisco Dons11.500 1-10-073.572.0L11-0-1
Portland Pilots01.000 0-10-072.084.0L10-0-1

Western Athletic

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
Tarleton State 101.000 1-00-0103.048.0W11-0-0
Seattle Redhawks101.000 0-01-084.072.0W11-0-0
Grand Canyon Antelopes101.000 1-00-069.053.0W11-0-0
California Baptist Lancers01.000 0-00-187.095.0L10-0-1
Texas Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros01.000 0-00-155.091.0L10-0-1
Chicago St. Cougars02.000 0-10-149.590.5L20-0-2

Mid-American

WestWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
Toledo Rockets11.500 0-01-169.557.0L11-0-1
Western Michigan Broncos01.000 0-00-162.066.0L10-0-1
Eastern Michigan Eagles01.000 0-00-167.083.0L10-0-1
Northern Illinois Huskies01.000 0-10-061.065.0L10-0-1
Ball St. Cardinals01.000 0-00-173.074.0L10-0-1

Last Injuries

Kentucky Wildcats

  • Keion Brooks Jr.

    Calf
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Brooks Jr. missed the last game with a calf injury, and it is unclear if he will play against Richmond on Sunday.

  • Isaiah Jackson

    Ankle
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Jackson is hindered by an ankle injury, and it is unknown of he will be active against Richmond on Sunday.

  • Brandon Boston Jr.

    Hand
    Prob Wed | probable

    Boston Jr. is expected to play in the season opener versus Morehead State after healing from a hand injury.