26 Conference Titles | 16 NCAA Tournament Appearances | 11 All-Americans | Two Rhodes Scholars | Two Final Fours
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Centre Colonels at Kentucky Wildcats
- Centre and Kentucky reunite for the first time since 1929 in an exhibition game Nov. 3 in Lexington, Ky. Tip from Rupp Arena is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.
- Fans can catch the game on television on the SEC Network, as well as the Watch ESPN app on mobile devices.
- Centre Sports Network will also have an audio-only broadcast featuring Dan Sharbaugh (play-by-play) and Seth Stogsdill (color commentary), which can be found here.
THE CENTRE - KENTUCKY SERIES
- Regular rivals nearly a hundred years ago, Kentucky and Centre met a total of 46 times between 1906 and 1929.
- Kentucky has won 11 in a row, including a 47-11 victory in the last meeting back on Feb. 13, 1929.
- The Wildcats hold an 11-3 record against the Colonels in Lexington.
- Centre's 70-point, 87-17 victory on Jan. 28, 1910 still stands as Kentucky's most lopsided loss ever.
- This will be the first meeting against either side for coaches Greg Mason and John Calipari.
CENTRE'S YOUNG SQUAD
- The Colonels' roster features eight freshmen and eight sophomores, leaving only two juniors and a lone senior.
- Fortunately, Centre's top four scorers from 2016-17 return for Head Coach Greg Mason.
- Junior guard Tucker Sine, who wore #14 the last two seasons, was named First Team All-SAA a year ago after averaging 14.7 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game.
- Sine netted a career high 36 points against Berry (2/5/17), and scored 22 of 26 points in the second half of 79-71 win over Transylvania (11/26/16). The Bowling Green, Ky., native also led the SAA and ranked 18th in Division III in free throw percentage at 89.8%.
- Sophomore guard Perry Ayers, who played with Sine at Bowling Green High School, averaged 10.4 points, 3.3 boards and 2.6 assists per game as a rookie, earning SAA Newcomer of the Year and Honorable Mention All-SAA.
- Ayers scored a career best 33 in a 106-100 win against Rhodes (1/13/17).
- Junior guard Jarod Griffin, a Lexington native, averaged 8.3 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.6 last season.
- Griffin scored a career-high 21 (18 in second half) in Centre's 79-71 victory against Transylvania last season.
- Sophomore forward Jacob Bates finished with 8.0 points and a team-high 5.2 rebounds last season, shooting nearly 58-percent from the field.
- Bates had a career high of 21 points in the 106-100 win over Rhodes, and is also the team's top returning shot blocker.
- Sophomore guard Bailey Rakes logged 23.5 minutes per game as a freshman last season, making 19 starts and finishing with 7.4 points per game.
- Sophomore forward Art Walker averaged 15.9 minutes per game last year, totaling 6.4 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.1 assists.
- 6-8 sophomore forward Jakob Spitzer started all 25 games as a freshman in 2016-17.
- The squad's lone senior, Zach Schmucker, played 11.6 minutes per game last season. He'll be the only senior on the court Friday at Rupp Arena.
- Sophomore Christian Terry, a Louisville, Ky., native, did not play for the Colonels a season ago.
- Centre has eight freshmen, six hailing from Kentucky.
- Guard Dawson Crump (Bowling Green, Ky. / Greenwood).
- Guard Carson Noble (Mount Vernon, Ky. / Rockcastle County).
- Guard Kamden Price (Murray, Ky. / Calloway County).
- Guard Will Hager (Harrodsburg, Ky. / Mercer County). Hager spent a redshirt season at Division II Colorado School of Mines.
- Forward KC Purvis (Louisville, Ky. / Christian Academy of Louisville).
- Forward Hogan Brownley (Louisville, Ky. / Christian Academy of Louisville). Brownley, whose father coaches Centre's swimming and diving teams, also plays baseball for the Colonels.
- Guard Chris West (Olney, Md. / TNG Prep Academy).
- Forward Brayden Jackson (Murfreesboro, Tenn. / Stewarts Creek).
IN GOOD COMPANY
- Head Coach Greg Mason, who ranks 10th among active Division III coaches in winning percentage, has established a consistency within the men's basketball program during his near-two-decade tenure.
- From 2002-16, Mason's Colonels were one of five programs across all divisions that won at least 2/3 of its games each year, along with Duke, Gonzaga, Kansas and Wooster.
FOREVER IN THE RECORD BOOKS
- Centre has a unique distinction in the Kentucky men's basketball annals. The Colonels still hold the biggest win ever against a Kentucky team, defeating the Wildcats by a 70-point margin in an 87-17 victory Jan. 28, 1910.
- The Colonels also have the ninth-most wins against Kentucky with 19 all-time, more than Louisville and nearly half the Southeastern Conference.
- Cawood Ledford, a 1949 Centre graduate, was inducted into the Centre Athletics Hall of Fame in 2006. Ledford served as the radio play-by-play announcer for the Wildcats from 1953-92 and is also a UK Athletics Hall of Famer.
- Will Barton is a member of the men's basketball staff at Kentucky, serving as the Director of Basketball Administration. Barton played for Centre in 2008-09, when the Colonels went 23-5 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
- Measuring by wins and losses, the 2016-17 season was below the Colonels' lofty expectations
- Playing with five freshmen in the ten-man rotation, Centre finished 14-11 for the third time in Mason's tenure - the other two being his first two seasons between 1999-2001.
- Despite matching the "worst" winning percentage for a single season in Mason's 18 years, the above-.500 record ensured another winning season for the program. The Colonels have never had a losing season under Mason.
- A reason for Centre to be optimistic about the upcoming season is that the Colonels return 84% of its scoring from last season's squad, whose 77 points per game represented the highest scoring team in Greg Mason's tenure.
- The Colonels also shot an outstanding 75% from the free throw line during the 2016-17 campaign, good for tops in the Southern Athletic Association and 35th in all of Division III.
- Mason's career winning percentage ranks 10th among all active NCAA Division III head coaches with a minimum of 10 seasons.
- The Colonels won their conference's regular or tournament championship in eight out of nine seasons between 2006-07 and 2014-15, totaling 14 combined.
- Centre made seven NCAA Tournament appearances during the same stretch.
- In 2007-08, the Colonels put together perhaps the best season in school history, going 26-3 overall while reaching a No. 2 national ranking. The mark stands as the best in program and conference history.
- Since the inception of the Southern Athletic Association in the 2012-13 season, Centre has never finished below third place in the league standings.
SCOUTING THE CATS
- The Kentucky Wildcats, ranked No. 4 in the 2017-18 preseason Coaches' Poll, are coming off a 32-6 season in 2016-17.
- Kentucky advanced to the NCAA Regional Finals, losing to eventual-national champion North Carolina on a last second shot.
- Kentucky lost 92% of its scoring to either graduation or the NBA Draft, but replenished its roster with a recruiting class ranked either first or second in most recruiting services' standings.
- The Wildcats won their first two exhibitions to start the season, defeating Thomas More, 103-61, and Morehead State, 92-67.