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November 18, 2012

Notes: Cats soar for dunks, Mays dishes as Cats swish

Archie Goodwin took flight.

After what seem like an eternity, the Kentucky guard landed to a roar of "oohs" and "ahs," after dunking on a helpless Lafayette defender.

Unfortunately for Goodwin, the play didn't count. It was waved off, ruled a charge. But while the play didn't account for any points, it was among the most memorable in Kentucky's 101-49 win against Lafayette Friday at Rupp Arena.

"That was ridiculous," freshman Alex Poythress said. "I don't think it was a charge by the way. But it was crazy."

UK had 10 other dunks, not including Goodwin's slam.

That was in part due to Lafayette's 28 turnovers and in part because of the way the Wildcats picked apart the Leopards' zone defense. Even before Friday night, the Cats had figured out how to attack the rack against the zone.

"We've played two possessions against zone and we've had two dunks by Alex," Calipari said. "That was our zone offense."

All season Calipari has said UK should be a team that plays above the rim and Friday night that was the case. 34 percent of UK's two point made field goals were dunks.

At times during Friday's game it almost seemed like the players were having a dunk contest against each other.

" I don't think so," Poythress said. "We just try to play hard."

But if there was a contest, Poythress said Goodwin would win if graded by style points.

"(Power dunking) I'd probably say me, but trick dunks has to be Archie," Poythress said. "He can go between the legs and all that stuff."

Assisting the offense
Kyle Wiltjer's seven three pointers Friday night will be the talk of UK's home opening win, but senior Julius Mays was the one finding Wiltjer open.

Mays finished with a season high 10 assists - and no turnovers - with six coming off Wiltjer three pointers.

"Julius had an idea to find (Wiltjer)," Calipari said. "Even the last one when Julius had the three, and he passed it to him for the three."

UK's 23 assists against Lafayette were a season high. The Cats 'unselfish offense led to a season high 64.5 percent shooting.

"Again, 23 assists, we pass the ball to each other," Calipari said. "Shot a pretty high percentage from both the three (and two)."

Big offense

One of the biggest question marks heading into the 2012-2013 season was how would UK play in the post, and despite having two freshman centers, so far so good.

Nerlens Noel and Willie Cauley-Stein combined to shoot 12-of-17 from the field against Lafayette, scoring 29 points.

Calipari is still trying to figure out how his offense will play this season but he says it will have to feature those two in the post.

"I've coached all kinds of ways over 20 something years," Calipari said. "I've never had two guys like this in the post. I've had DeMarcus Cousins, but he wanted to shoot threes. All right? Now you have these two guys and they're truly post players. I have two of them. I have two of them, so we've got to play that way. Force you to double-team and then we'll kick it out and shoot threes."

Noel and Cauley-Stein were expected to come to UK and instantly make an impact of the defensive end, but are surprising many with their skills on offense.

"They are fantastic," Poythress said. "They've come a long way."


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