December 2, 2017 / 11:10 PM / 15 days ago

Preview: Harvard at Kentucky

Kentucky’s Kevin Knox wasn’t shy while giving himself an impromptu self-evaluation recently, and the 6-9 freshman forward puts his skills on display again when the No. 7 Wildcats host Harvard on Saturday. “I’m very versatile,” Knox told reporters. “I can really do pretty much everything: Get to the basket, post-up, hit mid-range shots. … Just imagine if my 3-point shot is hitting.”

Knox averages team highs of 16.1 points, 5.7 rebounds and 35.1 minutes per game, with his playing time more than seven minutes greater than any teammate. He scored a career-high 25 points in Sunday’s 107-73 victory over Illinois-Chicago but missed all four of his 3-point attempts, leaving him 11-for-31 from beyond the arc this season. “I‘m starting to feel more comfortable with my teammates and we’re all kind of clicking,” Knox told reporters. “This was one of our best games of the season and we all just clicked. We were all making shots and played together as a team and we’re starting to figure everyone out.” The Crimson are playing their third contest in a string of four consecutive road games, including a 77-61 loss at Northeastern on Thursday marred by 3-for-17 shooting from 3-point range.

TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

ABOUT HARVARD (3-4): Sophomore guard Bryce Aiken averages a team-high 19.0 points after going off for 26 versus Northeastern, and is 15-for-30 from the floor in his last two games to raise his field goal percentage to 43.0. Sophomore forward Chris Lewis (13.8 points, team-high 5.4 rebounds) scored a season-high 20 - two shy of his career high - and grabbed seven rebounds Thursday. Sophomore forward Seth Towns (11.6 points, 4.4 rebounds) is the only other double-figure scorer while sophomore guard Justin Bassey (4.5 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists) grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds against Northeastern for the Crimson, who have never played Kentucky.

ABOUT KENTUCKY (6-1): Freshman guard Hamidou Diallo (12.9 points, 4.6 rebounds), who scored a career-high 19 versus UIC, joins Knox as one of six Wildcats averaging at least 8.6 points. Freshman guard Quade Green (11.7 points) is shooting 55.2 percent from the field, including 8-for-16 from 3-point range while freshman guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (9.1 points, team-high 4.0 assists) makes 55.3 percent of his shots from the floor. Nick Richards, a 6-11 freshman forward, grabs a club-most 6.4 rebounds and contributes 8.6 points while freshman forward P.J. Washington (9.1 points, 5.6 rebounds), who recorded 17 points, five rebounds and four assists Sunday, is also a major contributor.

TIP-INS

1. The Wildcats are 220-4 when leading by 10 or more points at any point of a game under coach John Calipari.

2. Knox’s playing time would rank fourth-most under Calipari at Kentucky behind Brandon Knight (35.9 minutes per game in 2010-11), Tyler Ulis (35.8 in 2015-2016) and Jamal Murray (35.2 in 2015-16).

3. Harvard went 1-2 in the Wooden Legacy tournament from Nov. 23-26, including an 89-71 loss to then-No. 21 Saint Mary‘s.

PREDICTION: Kentucky 80, Harvard 58

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