Five-star guard Keldon Johnson picks UK

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Calipari joked that he heard Vermont was doing "backflips in their rooms" watching Kentucky fall behind Utah Valley on Friday.

From that point, the Wildcats went on an 18-0 run in three minutes and 49 seconds and never looked back, holding on to beat Utah Valley, 73-63.

After all the preliminaries, it's finally opening night of the regular season for the University of Kentucky basketball team.

That was UK Coach John Calipari while speaking in the postgame press conference on Friday night.

"Next year I'll be attending the University of Kentucky", Johnson said before Oak Hill Academy's game against Bristol Prep (Tenn.). "I know other people will".

"Oh yeah, I'm going to definitely have butterflies", Knox said. They probably won't admit it, but I'm a person to admit my butterflies. I'm just really looking forward to it.

The weather was cold outside Rupp Arena and some of that cooler air made its way inside, as the Wildcats couldn't buy a bucket in the first half. The UK center finished with 10 points, three rebounds, three blocks, and a steal.

"I think that's exactly what we all envision him as and what we need him to be for us as a team", Gilgeous-Alexander said. "We're still running and still fighting through the elevation that (John Calipari) wants us to make".

Kentucky has just one day off before hosting Vermont at 3:30 p.m. Sunday.

"It's just the player that I have to be for this team and for myself". They have everyone coming back from past year. Given the wingspan of many of its players, the thought was that this particular Kentucky team could be a good zone defensive team. Others include sophomore forward Anthony Lamb, last year's leading scorer at 12.8 points per game; senior forward Peyton Henson (11.5) and junior guard Ernie Duncan (8.7).

"We're going to play teams with veteran guards", Calipari said.

And that's the way it's going to be early on for this impossibly young team. That'll definitely be a good game for us. "You're going to have to play basketball". But we are what we are right now and we won a game.

A former name from the 1996 national championship team at the United Kingdom will be the head man on the opposing bench Friday night.

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