Wildcats win first of 3 exhibition games

WINDSOR, Ontario -- Kentucky coach John Calipari has already started turning a top-notch recruiting class into part of a team that hopes to contend for a national championship.

The Wildcats started a three-day, three-game exhibition series in Canada on Sunday night, defeating the University of Windsor 95-62.

Two months before official practice even begins, incoming freshman point guard Brandon Knight led the Wildcats with 31 points. Knight is supposed to fill the sneakers of John Wall, who led Kentucky to 35 wins last season as a freshman while earning All-America honors.

"Brandon scores 31 points on 19 shots, makes every free throw and doesn't turn the ball over his first time out," Calipari said. "Let me say this guys, he was nervous before the game. He wanted to go throw up. I said, 'If you don't have butterflies and aren't nervous before the game you probably shouldn't play for me.' "

Wall was one of five Kentucky players -- including DeMarcus Cousins, Wall's classmate and fellow All-America, -- who left school early for the NBA.

Knight displayed a vast array of skills, most notably a burst of speed that only Wall could match. Knight repeatedly blew by Windsor players -- and even his own teammates -- as he sprinted down the court for another layup.

"He's super fast," Windsor guard Monty Hardware said. "He's super, super fast."

The 6-foot-3 Knight had seven rebounds and four assists.

"I've told people he is a different point guard than the ones I've had but he can be just as effective in a different way," Calipari said, referring to Derrick Rose and Tyreke Evans, who played for him at Memphis, and Wall. "You'll have people watch him and go, 'He isn't as good as I thought.' What? You see those numbers? Don't be talking boys because when the ball is thrown up that's when things are spoken. He's got a long ways to go but he's coachable and he's a good teammate. He was the warrior today."

The game was played before a sellout crowd of 2,500 at the St. Denis Centre on Windsor's campus.