It was announced today (Thursday, July 6, 2017) that the Thomas More College men’s basketball team will take on the University of Kentucky in an exhibition game at Rupp Arena in Lexington Kentucky.
The Saints and Wildcats will square off on October 27. Game time, TV designation and ticket information will be announced at a later time and will be announced on the Thomas More athletic website, www.tmcsaints.com. This will mark the first time that the two schools have met on the hardwood.
Thomas More finished the 2016-17 season with a 22-7 record, winning the Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) Championship Tournament before falling in the first round of the Division III NCAA Championship Tournament. It was the second-ever PAC Championship Tournament title and NCAA Division III Tournament appearance (2009). The season also marked the first time in program history that the team eclipsed the 20-win mark and advanced to the NCAA Tournament in the same season. The Saints return 18 players from last season’s squad, including all five starters.
“Coach Calipari and his staff are doing a wonderful thing for this state by annually allowing young men from in-state small colleges and their program to share in the remarkable history and tradition of UK basketball, stated Thomas More Head Coach Drew Cooper. “Thomas More is a special community and I'm elated that UK has chosen us to play in an exhibition this season. Many thanks to Mitch Barnhart, DeWayne Peevy, Coach Calipari and his staff. We'll try our hardest for 40 minutes in hopes each team can benefit in order to prepare for their respective upcoming seasons.”
Kentucky is the winningest program in NCAA Division I with 2,237 wins. The Wildcats are coming off their third-straight and 48th overall Southeastern Conference (SEC) regular-season championship and fifth under John Calipari in eight seasons. UK also won its third-straight SEC Tournament, which was the program’s 30th overall and fifth under Calipari. UK advanced to its sixth Elite Eight under Calipari this past season, where it fell to eventual national champion, the University of North Carolina. This coming season, the Wildcats will be replacing 92.6 percent of their scoring and 76.6 percent from their rebounding from the 2016-17 season.
Thomas More will be opening the 2017-18 regular season on November 15 when it hosts traditional rival Wilmington College at 7 p.m. at the Connor Convocation Center in Crestview Hills, Kentucky.