Last season: 32-6, reached NCAA Tournament South Region final.
Coach: John Calipari.
Who's gone: G De'Aaron Fox, G Malik Monk, F Bam Adebayo (all NBA lottery picks); G Isaiah Briscoe, F Derek Willis, G Dominique Hawkins, G Mychal Mulder, F Isaac Humphries.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Already prepared to lose seniors Dominique Hawkins, Derek Willis and Mychal Mulder to graduation, Kentucky awaits its annual NBA draft decisions by talented underclassmen in its latest spring roster cleaning.
The Wildcats' current group of highly regarded freshmen came within seconds of reaching the Final Four, but they will take some time before announcing future plans.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Foul trouble stymied Kentucky in the first half. A North Carolina zone caused issues in the closing minutes.
Even with those hurdles, North Carolina needed a jumper from Luke Maye with 0.3 seconds left to end the Wildcats' season, eliminating Kentucky 75-73 in the South Region final of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Never had Kentucky faced such a deep hole under coach John Calipari, a situation that took nearly everything the ninth-ranked Wildcats had to overcome Vanderbilt. On Senior Night, Derek Willis had to overcome his nerves to propose to his girlfriend before the game.
Kentucky's defensive urgency created offensive chances for Malik Monk to deliver once again.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky seniors Dominique Hawkins and Derek Willis have enjoyed a four-year courtside view of Kentucky's turnstile of talented players, in addition to all those challenging practices against future NBA draft picks.
Those experiences had to pay off for the home-grown duo, though the result is something rare for the No. 9 Wildcats: Talented players usually don't stick around for four years at Kentucky.
One year, yes. Two years, maybe. Three years, not often. Four? Hardly ever.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Showing long-range accuracy wasn't enough for Kentucky guard Malik Monk, who made an even bigger impression going up for rebounds more often than even he expected.
Others also registered all-out effort on both ends and typified the complete performance that No. 13 Kentucky had sought for weeks.
Monk had 20 points and a career-high eight rebounds, Derek Willis had 16 points and Kentucky made 10 3-pointers in the first half to roll past Tennessee 83-58 on Tuesday night.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky says that illness has sidelined freshman point guard De'Aaron Fox for the eighth-ranked Wildcats' game against Georgia on Tuesday night.
Team spokesman Eric Lindsey said via text that Kentucky's second-leading scorer (15.9 points) would miss his first game this season because of illness. Fox had sprained his right ankle against South Carolina on Jan. 21 but started last Tuesday's 82-80 loss at Tennessee and Saturday's 79-73 loss to Kansas, scoring 10 points.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Frank Mason III scored 21 points, Josh Jackson had 20 points and a pair of big 3-pointers and No. 2 Kansas rallied past No. 4 Kentucky 79-73 on Saturday night in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Malik Monk, Kentucky's leading scorer, was struggling and so was star guard Isaiah Briscoe. So when the Wildcats needed some clutch baskets late, coach John Calipari turned to freshman point guard De'Aaron Fox and gave him some simple instructions.
"We just said, 'Here you go De'Aaron, go and do your thing,'" Calipari said.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — De'Aaron Fox alternated determined drives to the basket with soft jumpers that showed why he is the second-leading scorer for No. 6 Kentucky.
Making it more satisfying for the Wildcats freshman was getting other contributions to offset an off night for scoring leader Malik Monk.
Fox scored a career-high 27 points, Derek Willis and Isaiah Briscoe each added 15 and Kentucky pulled away to beat Arkansas 97-71 on Saturday night.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky's latest highly touted freshman class showed their expected potential, but only after a boost from the veterans.
Isaiah Briscoe scored 17 points, Derek Willis added 15 and No. 2 Kentucky went on to an 87-64 season-opening victory over Stephen F. Austin on Friday night.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Breaking out as an offensive contributor has spurred Kentucky forward Derek Willis to want to have the same impact on the defensive end.
Lost in the shuffle for two years behind a parade of future NBA draft picks, the 6-foot-9 Willis earned his way into Kentucky's rotation as a junior and finally showed the talent that coach John Calipari had insisted was always there.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Malik Monk came off the bench to score 15 points, Derek Willis and Bam Adebayo each added 13 and Kentucky rolled past Clarion 108-51 in an exhibition Sunday night against Wildcats coach John Calipari's alma mater.
Last season: 27-9, lost in second round of NCAA Tournament.
Coach: John Calipari.
Who's gone: G Tyler Ulis, G Jamal Murray, F Skal Labissiere, F Marcus Lee (transfer), G/F Charles Matthews (transfer), F Alex Poythress.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Physical post play was lacking at Kentucky last year, though establishing an inside presence shouldn't be an issue this season.
The Wildcats are tall, long and athletic once again, and this year the big guys appear ready to mix it up in the paint.
But Wildcats coach John Calipari shot out his annual caution on Thursday, warning everyone not to expect too much too soon from his latest collection of highly prized recruits.