KENTUCKY, Sporting Alert – No. 6 Kentucky aims to bounce back from a defeat to UCLA at the weekend, when it host Valparaiso at Rupp Arena in Lexington on Wednesday night.
The Wildcats (7-1) slipped five places in the AP Top 25 rankings this week after losing for just the fifth time at home under John Calipari, following a 97-92 to the Bruins on Saturday.
Kentucky, which cruised through the opening seven games of the season before the defeat, also saw its 42 home game win streak snapped and Calipari believes it was a lesson learned.
Only Thinking About The Process
Many are gearing up to see how the Wildcats will respond against Valparaiso but Calipari says the focus is more on the “process” rather than worrying about the first loss of the term.
“I’ve been doing this 30 years and it is a process,” he said. “I’ve been doing it here now for eight years, and every team was different.
“It is a process. I get like you: We should win every single game that we play, we should go 82-0, win every game by [x amount] – then I wake up and I’m like, ‘What am I thinking? Let’s go. Let’s just get back to work and get better.’”
Valparaiso has won four straight entering this game and is coming off of a quality 65-62 victory over then-No. 21 Rhode Island on Tuesday night.
The Crusaders (7-1) picked up 7 points in this week’s AP Top 25 rankings and heads to the Rupp Arena confident about pulling off another surprise.
Kentucky, which is scoring 95.1 points per game, is led in scoring by freshman guard Malik Monk, who is putting up 19.9 points through eight games.
Sophomore guard Isaiah Briscoe is next at 17.3, followed by freshman guard De’Aaron Fox at 15.9 points, 7.8 assists and 5.3 rebounds, while freshman forward Bam Adebayo is averaging 12.0 points and 8.3 rebounds per game.
Meanwhile, senior forward Alec Peters is leading Valparaiso with 25.4 points and 9.1 rebounds with senior guard Shane Hammink putting up 15.4 points and 5.1 boards per game.
Peters has scored in double-digit in all eight games so far this season, and is coming off of netting 27 points against Rhode Island.
AP Top 25 Games
In other AP Top 25 games, No. 7 North Carolina will take on Davidson at Dean E. Smith Center, undefeated No. 8 Gonzaga travels to McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane to tackle Washington, while fellow undefeated No. 10 Creighton takes on Nebraska in a road fixture.
Elsewhere in AP Top 25 action, No. 11 Louisville entertains Southern Illinois at KFC Yum! Center, 13th ranked Xavier heads to Coors Events Center to face Colorado, No. 15 West Virginia, fresh off of the 66-57 victory over then-No. 6 Virginia, will host Western Carolina.
Meanwhile, among games on the ESPN3 schedule today, No. 16 Butler is at Indiana State, No. 17 Wisconsin play host to Idaho State, while Illinois State is at Tulsa.
College Basketball AP Top 25 Games
Wednesday, December 7
Holy Cross at Maine 5:30 PM ESPN3
Southern Illinois at No. 11 Louisville 7:00 PM ACCN, WatchESPN
Western Carolina vs No. 15 West Virginia 7:00 PM
Oglethorpe at Mercer 7:00 PM ESPN3
Toccoa Falls at The Citadel 7:00 PM ESPN3
Detroit Mercy at Toledo 7:00 PM ESPN3
Western Michigan at Cleveland State 7:00 PM ESPN3
Marist at Albany 7:00 PM ESPN3
Eastern Illinois at Northern Kentucky 7:00 PM ESPN3
Eastern Kentucky at Jacksonville 7:00 PM ESPN3
No. 16 Butler at Indiana State 7:00 PM ESPN3
Missouri State at Southeast Missouri State 7:30 PM ESPN3
Valparaiso at No. 6 Kentucky 8:00 PM SECN, WatchESPN
Idaho State at No. 17 Wisconsin 8:00 PM ESPN3
North Dakota at North Dakota State 8:00 PM ESPN3
Illinois State at Tulsa 8:00 PM ESPN3
Southern at Tulane 8:00 PM ESPN3
South Dakota State at Northern Iowa 8:00 PM ESPN3
Wright State at Loyola (CHI) 8:00 PM ESPN3
UAB at Stephen F. Austin 8:00 PM ESPN3
No. 10 Creighton at Nebraska 9:00 PM BTN
Davidson at No. 7 North Carolina 9:00 PM ESPN2, WatchESPN
No. 13 Xavier at Colorado 9:00 PM PAC12
Washington at No. 8 Gonzaga 11:00 PM ESPN2, WatchESPN