Kentucky’s 2017-18 nonconference schedule breakdown

Story: UK releases nonconference schedule

Kentucky knows which teams it will play in Southeastern Conference action and had announced six of its nonconference games already, but the entire nonconference slate, with dates, was revealed Tuesday.

Let’s take a look at each of the 13 nonconference games on UK’s 2017-18 schedule and break it down with all of the key info that you need to know. The games below are listed in order of date and should help hold you over for a bit as the players begin to get on campus this week.

Utah Valley Wolverines

Date/Location: Nov. 10/Lexington (Rupp Arena)
Head coach: Mark Pope (29-35 at Utah Valley)
Conference: Western Athletic Conference
2016-17 record: 17-17
Postseason: College Basketball Invitational – Semifinals
Key players lost: Jordan Poydras (10.7 ppg, 63 3FGM)
Key players returning: Conner Toolson (11.9 ppg, 3.9 rpg) // Isaac Neilson (9.6 ppg, 9.1 rpg) // Kenneth Ogbe (10.6 ppg) // Brandon Randolph (10.0 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 3.9 apg)
Key newcomers: Benjamin Nakwaasah (Junior)
Series history: First meeting
Notes: Former Kentucky Wildcat and national champion Mark Pope will take his Utah Valley Wolverines into Rupp Arena for the first time in program history in the 2017-18 season opener Nov. 10. Pope is entering his third season at UVU after serving as an assistant coach at Georgia, Wake Forest and BYU. Pope led the Wolverines to the semifinals of the College Basketball Invitational last season.

Utah Valley will bring a veteran-laden squad to the Bluegrass that includes seniors Kenneth Ogbe, Brandon Randolph and Isaac Neilson, who were third, fourth and fifth in scoring on last year’s team. Neilson, a 6-foot-11 forward from California, had 10 double-doubles as a junior, averaging 9.6 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. UVU also returns its leading scorer from a year ago in Conner Toolson. A 6-4 guard from Utah, Toolson averaged 11.9 points per game last year as a sophomore.

After struggling on the offensive end a season ago, Utah Valley adds 6-2 junior college guard Benjamin Nakwaasah from Jacksonville College in Texas. A junior, Nakwaasah led Jacksonville College in scoring (22.3 points per game), 3-pointers made (79) and 3-point field goal percentage (.403) last season. His 22.3 points per game ranked seventh nationally in the NJCAA.

Vermont Catamounts

Date/Location: Nov. 12/Lexington (Rupp Arena)
Head coach: John Becker (139-69 at Vermont)
Conference: America East
2016-17 record: 29-6
Postseason: NCAA Tournament – First Round
Key players lost: Darren Payen (6.7 ppg, 24 blks) // Dre Wills (6.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 32 stls, 21 blks)
Key players returning: Trae Bell-Haynes (11.2 ppg, 3.9 apg, 1.1 spg) // Anthony Lamb (12.8 ppg, 5.5 rpg) // Payton Henson (11.5 ppg, 5.3 rpg) // Ernie Duncan (8.7 ppg, .399 3FG%, 2.2 apg)
Series history: First meeting
Notes: Coming off a fantastic season in which it won 29 games and became the first team in America East history to win all 16 games in league play, Vermont welcomes back each of its top four scorers, including America East Player of the Year Trae Bell-Haynes. Bell-Haynes tested the NBA Draft waters this spring before ultimately withdrawing his name on May 22. An Associated Press All-America honorable mention selection as a junior last season, Bell-Haynes averaged 11.2 points and 3.9 assists last season.

In addition to Bell-Haynes, the Catamounts return forwards Anthony Lamb and Payton Henson. Lamb, the unanimous selection as the America East Rookie of the Year last season, led the Catamounts in scoring (12.8 points per game) and rebounding (5.5 rebounds per game). Henson, an America East Third Team selection last year, was second on the team in scoring (11.5 ppg) and rebounding (5.3 rpg). Ernie Duncan, the Catamounts’ top 3-point shooter last season, also returns after earning America East Third Team honors as a sophomore.

John Becker, the America East Coach of the Year last season, will be entering his seventh season leading the Catamounts. Under Becker’s direction, Vermont hasn’t finished worse than third in the America East and has two American East regular-season and tournament championships.

Kansas Jayhawks

Date/Location: Nov. 14/Chicago (United Center)
Head coach: Bill Self (416-88 at Kansas)
Conference: Big 12
2016-17 record: 31-5
Postseason: NCAA Tournament – Elite Eight
Key players lost: Frank Mason III (20.9 ppg, .471 3FG%, 5.2 apg) // Josh Jackson (16.3 ppg, 7.4 rpg) // Landen Lucas (8.0 ppg, 8.3 rpg)
Key players returning: Devonte’ Graham (13.4 ppg, .388 3FG%, 4.1 apg) // Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (9.8 ppg, .398 3FG%)
Key newcomers: Malik Newman (Sophomore) // Billy Preston (Freshman)
Series history: UK leads, 22-8
Notes: For the fourth straight season and the sixth time in the last seven seasons, the two winningest teams in college basketball history will meet. The Wildcats have won 22 of the two teams’ 30 games against each other and are 3-2 against the Jayhawks in the Calipari era. Kansas has won the past two meetings, both occurring in the annual SEC/Big 12 Challenge.

Returning two of its top four scorers while adding Mississippi State transfer Malik Newman and a top-10 prospect in forward Billy Preston (Rivals), the Jayhawks are a top-three team in ESPN, CBS Sports, College Basketball Talk and Yahoo! Sports’ “way-too-early” top 25 polls.

Leading the Jayhawks will be senior Devonte’ Graham. The 6-2 guard averaged 13.4 points and 4.1 assists per game last season while playing alongside national player of the year Frank Mason III in the backcourt. Graham also knocked down a team-high 94 3-pointers at a 38.8 percent clip. Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, who tested the NBA Draft waters this spring before deciding to return to school, also figures to play a bigger role this season. The 6-8 senior guard is a matchup problem for opposing defenses with his outside shooting prowess, knocking down 39.8 percent of his 176 3-point attempts.

East Tennessee State Buccaneers

Date/Location: Nov. 17/Lexington (Rupp Arena)
Head coach: Steve Forbes (51-20 at ETSU)
Conference: Southern Conference
2016-17 record: 27-8
Postseason: NCAA Tournament – First Round
Key players lost: T.J. Cromer (19.1 ppg, .406 3FG%, 106 3FGM, 3.2 apg) // Tevin Glass (8.9 ppg, 6.3 rpg) // Hanner Mosquera-Perea (8.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg) // A.J. Merriweather (8.6 ppg, 3.6 rpg)
Key players returning: Desonta Bradford (10.4 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 3.9 apg)
Key newcomers: Jeromy Rodriguez (Junior) // Mladen Armus (Freshman) // Bo Hodges (Freshman)
Series history: UK leads, 4-0
Notes: The Buccaneers will enter the 2017-18 season coming off a 27-win campaign in which they advanced to the NCAA Tournament. The Bucs’ 27 wins a year ago marked the program’s second highest win total in school history. Head coach Steve Forbes has done a great job at ETSU, winning 24 and 27 games, respectively, in his first two seasons.

The Wildcats are 4-0 all-time against the Buccaneers. The two most recent meetings have come in the John Calipari era. Kentucky topped ETSU in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in 2010, Coach Cal’s first season at UK, and then again in the 2010-11 season opener.

ETSU loses four of its top five scorers from a year ago, including All-Southern Conference First Team pick T.J. Cromer. The Bucs do return 6-4 senior guard Desonta Bradford, who earned All-Southern Conference Third Team honors after averaging 10.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and a team-high 3.9 assists per game.

Troy Trojans

Date/Location: Nov. 20/Lexington (Rupp Arena)
Head coach: Phil Cunningham (52-76 at Troy)
Conference: Sun Belt Conference
2016-17 record: 22-15
Postseason: NCAA Tournament – First Round
Key players lost: DeVon Walker (7.8 ppg, 6.4 rpg) // Jeremy Hollimon (11.9 ppg, .416 3FG%, 47 3FGM) // Daniel Peace (2.4 ppg, 2.2 apg, 1.1 spg)
Key players returning: Jordon Varnado (16.5 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 1.4 bpg) // Wesley Person Jr. (14.8 ppg, .400 3FG%, 94 3FGM) // Kevin Baker (8.1 ppg, 72 3FGM, 3.0 apg)
Key newcomers: Javan Johnson (Freshman) // Malik Burnett (Freshman) // De’Lazarus Keys (Freshman)
Series history: First meeting
Notes: A native of Campbellsville, Kentucky, head coach Phil Cunningham is entering his fifth year at Troy after spending 12 seasons as an assistant coach at Mississippi State and one at Western Kentucky. Troy and Kentucky have never met in men’s basketball.

Troy is coming off one of its best seasons in recent memory. The Trojans’ 22 victories marked their highest win total since 2003-04, their 10 wins in Sun Belt play was their thirst most ever, and their 13-win improvement from the 2015-16 season was their largest improvement from one season to the next in program history. Troy won the Sun Belt Tournament championship for the first time in school history and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for just the second time.

The Trojans return three of their top four scorers from last season’s team and four of their five starters. Jordon Varnado, the younger brother of Mississippi State blocking machine Jarvis Varnado, led Troy in scoring (16.5 ppg) and rebounding (7.1 rpg) last season en route to earning All-Sun Belt First Team honors. Rising-senior guard Wesley Person Jr., the son of former Auburn All-American and first-round NBA Draft pick Wesley Sr., also is returning. Person Jr. was second on the team in scoring last season (14.8 ppg) and led the team with 94 made 3-pointers while shooting an impressive 40.0 percent from beyond the arc.

Fort Wayne Mastodons

Date/Location: Nov. 22/Lexington (Rupp Arena)
Head coach: Jon Coffman (59-36 at Fort Wayne)
Conference: Summit League
2016-17 record: 20-13
Postseason: College Insider.com Tournament – Quarterfinals
Key players lost: Mo Evans (16.9 ppg, .433 3FG%, 100 3FGM, 6.2 apg, 1.5 spg) // Brent Calhoun (9.8 ppg, 6.1 rpg)
Key players returning: Bryson Scott (16.1 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.7 spg) // John Konchar (14.9 ppg, .517 3FG%, 8.7 rpg, 3.8 apg) // Kason Harrell (10.9 ppg, .438 3FG%, 78 3FGM, 3.3 rpg)
Key newcomers: Jairus Stevens (Freshman) // Cameron Benford (Freshman) // Matt Weir (Freshman)
Series history: First meeting
Notes: Fort Wayne and Kentucky will meet for the first time in men’s basketball when the Mastadons come to Rupp Arena one day prior to Thanksgiving. Head coach Jon Coffman’s team will have to replace Mo Evans, its leading scorer from a year ago, but does bring back its next three highest scorers.

Junior guard John Konchar, who hit more than half of his 87 3-point attempts and averaged 14.9 points, 8.7 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game, was named to the All-Summit League First Team for the second consecutive year last season.

Konchar will be joined in the backcourt by Bryson Scott and Kason Harrell. Scott, who transferred to Fort Wayne after playing two seasons at Purdue, was selected to the Summit League All-Newcomer Team last season after averaging 16.1 points and 5.0 rebounds per game. Harrell started 29 of the 33 games he played and is another strong outside shooter for Fort Wayne, making 78 triples and shooting 43.8 percent from deep last season.

UIC Flames

Date/Location: Nov. 26/Lexington (Rupp Arena)
Head coach: Steve McClain (22-44 at UIC)
Conference: Horizon League
2016-17 record: 17-19
Postseason: College Basketball Invitational – Semifinals
Key players lost: None
Key players returning: Dikembe Dixson (20.3 ppg, 6.0 rpg) // Tai Odiase (11.4 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 2.9 bpg) // Tarkus Ferguson (11.2 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 4.9 apg) // Dominique Matthews (10.9 ppg, 61 3FGM) // Marcus Ottey (10.5 ppg) // Godwin Boahen (9.3 ppg, 3.3 apg) // K.J. Santos (7.1 ppg, 4.2 rpg)
Key newcomers: Greg Eboigbodin (Freshman)
Series history: First meeting
Notes: The UIC Flames advanced to the semifinals of the CBI last season, their second season under head coach Steve McClain, and upped their win total from five in 2015-16 to 17. The most inexperienced team in the country last season, according to KenPom.com, the Flames set program records in rebounds and blocks last season and played in a program-high 36 games.

It will be the first time UIC has ever met UK in men’s basketball. The Flames have played just seven games against teams currently making up the SEC and are 3-4 all-time in those games. The last time UIC played an SEC team was Dec. 3, 2008, when it defeated Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tennessee.

The Flames return nearly every player after having just one senior on the roster last year. Among the returners is Tai Odiase, the Horizon League Defensive Player of the Year, and Horizon League All-Freshman Team selections Tarkus Ferguson and Dominique Matthews, the younger brother of former Wildcat Charles Matthews. Also returning is Dikembe Dixson, a 6-7 forward who as a sophomore last season was named to the preliminary Julius Erving Award watch list. Dixson was averaging 20.3 points per game before he went down with a season-ending knee injury in UIC’s 10th game.

Harvard Crimson

Date/Location: Dec. 2/Lexington (Rupp Arena)
Head coach: Tommy Amaker (193-103 at Harvard)
Conference: Ivy League
2016-17 record: 18-10
Postseason: N/A
Key players lost: Siyani Chambers (9.9 ppg, 5.9 apg) // Zena Edosomwan (7.0 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.7 bpg)
Key players returning: Bryce Aiken (14.5 ppg, 2.8 apg) // Seth Towns (12.3 ppg, .388 3FG%, 4.4 rpg, 1.0 spg) // Corey Johnson (8.2 ppg, 62 3FGM) // Chris Lewis (7.8 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.3 bpg) // Justin Bassey (6.1 ppg, 4.6 rpg)
Key newcomers: Mario Haskett (Freshman) // Reed Farley (Freshman) // Danilo Djuricic (Freshman)
Series history: First meeting
Notes: One game after facing last season’s most inexperienced team, Kentucky will face Harvard, which was the 19th least experienced team in the country a year ago. Despite starting three freshmen and a sophomore for much of the season, the Crimson still managed to go 18-10 in the regular season.

Harvard will be led by Bryce Aiken, the Ivy League Rookie of the Year last season and the second freshman to ever be named First Team All-Ivy League. Aiken reached double figures in scoring on 18 different occasions and scored 20-plus points eight times. His 14.5 points per game were a team high and his 88.4-percent shooting at the foul line was the second best clip in the Ivy League.

The Crimson will also bring back sophomores Seth Towns, Chris Lewis and Justin Bassey, and junior Corey Johnson. Towns, Johnson and Lewis ranked second, fourth and fifth, respectively in scoring for Harvard last season. Lewis, Bassey and Towns were second, third and fourth in rebounding, respectively.

Monmouth Hawks

Date/Location: Dec. 9/New York City (Madison Square Garden)
Head coach: King Rice (106-92 at Monmouth)
Conference: Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference
2016-17 record: 27-7
Postseason: NIT – First Round
Key players lost: Justin Robinson (19.7 ppg, 96 3FGM, .403 3FG%, 4.8 apg) // Je’lon Hornbeak (11.9 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 80 3FGM, .444 3FG%) // Chris Brady (9.0 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.7 bpg)
Key players returning: Micah Seaborn (13.2 ppg, 64 3FGM) // Austin Tilghman (7.0 ppg, 3.2 rpg)
Key newcomers: Deion Hammond (Freshman) // Marcus McClary (Freshman)
Series history: First meeting
Notes: The inaugural Citi Double Cash Classic will see Kentucky take on Monmouth at the World’s Most Famous Arena. It will be the first-ever meeting between Kentucky and Monmouth in men’s basketball.

Monmouth is led by head coach King Rice, who will assist the 2017 USA Basketball Men’s U19 World Cup Team, which is being coached by John Calipari. Rice will serve as one of four court coaches during Team USA’s training camp in June in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Monmouth went 27-7 last season and posted an 18-2 mark in MAAC action. It was the first time in MAAC history that a team won 18 league games. It also marked the Hawks’ second straight 20-win season, which is the first time in program history they have done that.

Monmouth had two All-MAAC First Team selections last season, including junior guard Micah Seaborn, who was second on the team with 13.5 points per game. The Hawks also welcome back senior guard Austin Tilghman, the MAAC Sixth Man of the Year who averaged 7.0 points and 3.2 rebounds per game last year.

Virginia Tech Hokies

Date/Location: Dec. 16/Lexington (Rupp Arena)
Head coach: Buzz Williams (53-48 at Virginia Tech)
Conference: Atlantic Coast Conference
2016-17 record: 22-11
Postseason: NCAA Tournament – First round
Key players lost: Zach LeDay (16.5 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 1.0 bpg) // Seth Allen (13.3 ppg, .441 3FG%, 3.3 apg)
Key players returning: Chris Clarke (11.4 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 1.3 spg) // Ahmed Hill (11.4 ppg, .373 3FG%, 59 3FGM) // Justin Robinson (10.4 ppg, 4.8 apg) // Justin Bibbs (9.2 ppg, .432 3FG%, 67 3FGM) // Ty Outlaw (.487 3FG%, 57 3FGM)
Key newcomers: Nickeil Alexander-Walker (Freshman) // Wabissa Bede (Freshman)
Series history: UK leads, 3-1
Notes: After going 11-22 in year one under head coach Buzz Williams in 2014-15, the Hokies have gone 20-15 and 22-11 the past two seasons, respectively. Virginia Tech’s 10 ACC wins tied the school record for the second consecutive season, and it advanced to the NCAA Tournament and defeated three nationally ranked teams for the first time since the 2007 season.

Virginia Tech will be looking to replace its top two scorers from a year ago, but welcomes back six of its top eight players in terms of minutes and starts and brings in a consensus top-25 recruiting class. The Hokies’ 2017 class is highlighted by five-star (ESPN) combo guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker, who attended the same high school as incoming Kentucky point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and also hails from Ontario, Canada.

The Hokies return three players who hit 57-plus 3-pointers last season and each shot at least 37 percent from long range, including two players in Justin Bibbs and Ty Outlaw who hit 43.2 percent and 48.7 percent of their 3s, respectively. Sophomore forward Kerry Blackshear Jr., who played nearly 20 minutes per game as a freshman and averaged 6.2 points and 4.5 rebounds, will return this season after missing all of last season with a leg injury.

UCLA Bruins

Date/Location: Dec. 23/New Orleans (Smoothie King Center)
Head coach: Steve Alford (96-45 at UCLA)
Conference: Pac 12
2016-17 record: 31-5
Postseason: NCAA Tournament – Sweet 16
Key players lost: Lonzo Ball (14.6 ppg, .412 3FG%, 80 3FGM, 7.6 apg, 6.0 rpg) // TJ Leaf (16.3 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 1.1 bpg) // Bryce Alford (15.5 ppg, .430 3FG%, 116 3FGM) // Ike Anigbogu (4.7 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.2 bpg) // Isaac Hamilton (14.1 ppg, 74 3FGM, 2.8 apg)
Key players returning: Aaron Holiday (12.3 ppg, .411 3FG%, 53 3FGM, 4.4 apg) // Thomas Welsh (10.8 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 1.3 bpg)
Key newcomers: Jaylen Hands (Freshman) // Kris Wilkes (Freshman) // Cody Riley (Freshman) // Jalen Hill (Freshman)
Series history: UK leads, 8-6
Notes: The Wildcats and Bruins are playing in New Orleans in the CBS Sports Classic. It will mark the fourth straight season that UCLA and Kentucky will play against each other, and the fifth time in the last four seasons after the Wildcats and Bruins split last season’s two matchups. UCLA won at Rupp Arena in December, while Kentucky defeated UCLA by 11 in the Sweet 16 in Memphis.

UCLA loses three players (Lonzo Ball, TJ Leaf and Ike Anigbogu) who are projected to go in the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft, but returns guard Aaron Holiday and center Thomas Welsh. The Bruins also bring in a top-five recruiting class that features a pair of five-star prospects in guard Jaylen Hands and forward Kris Wilkes.

Based on the “way-too-early” top 25 polls, UCLA looks like it will be ranked somewhere around No. 15 to begin the 2017-18 season. While Holiday didn’t start a single game last season, the junior guard played 26.4 minutes per game and hit 53 3-pointers on 41.1 percent shooting. Welsh nearly averaged a double-double with 10.8 points and 8.7 rebounds per game as a junior.

Louisville Cardinals

Date/Location: Dec. 29/Lexington (Rupp Arena)
Head coach: Rick Pitino (416-141 at Louisville)
Conference: Atlantic Coast Conference
2016-17 record: 25-9
Postseason: NCAA Tournament – Second Round
Key players lost: Donovan Mitchell (15.6 ppg, 80 3FGM, 4.9 rpg, 2.7 apg, 2.1 spg) // Mangok Mathiang (7.8 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.1 bpg) // Jaylen Johnson (8.0 ppg, 5.8 rpg)
Key players returning: Deng Adel (12.1 ppg, 4.5 rpg) // Quentin Snider (12.4 ppg, 4.1 apg) // Ray Spalding (5.9 ppg, 5.5 rpg) // Anas Mahmoud (5.7 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.1 bpg) // V.J. King (5.5 ppg)
Key newcomers: Brian Bowen (Freshman) // Malik Williams (Freshman) // Darius Perry (Freshman) // Jordan Nwora (Freshman)
Series history: UK leads, 34-16
Notes: As usual, not much needs to be said when it comes to Kentucky-Louisville, but a ton can be said.

UK hosts this year’s Battle of the Bluegrass after falling at Louisville last season for just the second time in 10 meetings between the two schools during the Calipari era. Those 10 games have been decided by an average of 6.7 points. UK is 4-0 against Louisville at Rupp Arena in the Calipari era.

Head coach Rick Pitino is entering his 16th season leading the UofL men’s basketball program and has accrued a record of 416-141 with the Cardinals.

The Cardinals lost star guard Donovan Mitchell to the NBA Draft, as well as big men Mangok Mathiang and Jaylen Johnson, but return a number of key pieces from last season’s team and welcome a top-10 recruiting class highlighted by a pair of five-star forwards in Brian Bowen and Malik Williams.

Point guard Quentin Snider enters his senior campaign coming off a strong junior season in which he was second on the team in scoring, shot 37.3 percent from deep and dished out 4.1 assists per game. The return of Deng Adel, an athletic wing who had tested the NBA Draft waters this spring before withdrawing his name on May 23, gives the Louisville offense a major boost.

West Virginia Mountaineers

Date/Location: Jan. 27/Morgantown, W.Va. (WVU Coliseum)
Head coach: Bob Huggins (229-119 at West Virginia)
Conference: Big 12
2016-17 record: 28-9
Postseason: NCAA Tournament – Sweet 16
Key players lost: Nathan Adrian (9.6 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 2.9 apg, 1.3 spg) // Tarik Phillip (9.5 ppg, 3.0 apg, 1.7 spg) // Elijah Macon (6.3 ppg, 4.2 rpg)
Key players returning: Jevon Carter (13.5 ppg, .389 3FG%, 72 3FGM, 5.0 rpg, 3.7 apg, 2.5 spg) // Esa Ahmad (11.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg) // Daxter Miles Jr. (8.8 ppg, 1.4 spg)
Key newcomers: Derek Culver (Freshman) // Brandon Knapper (Freshman) // Teddy Allen (Freshman)
Series history: UK leads, 15-5
Notes: For the fourth time in the Coach Cal era, but first time in the regular season, Kentucky will face West Virginia. The Wildcats and Mountaineers will meet in Morgantown, West Virginia, in the annual Big 12/SEC Challenge. Kentucky has won each of the past two meetings, which both came in the NCAA Tournament.

WVU head coach Bob Huggins, a longtime friend of Coach Cal’s, has posted a 229-119 (.658) record with the Mountaineers and has guided WVU to the NCAA Tournament in eight of his 10 seasons, including each of the past three.

A perennial power in the Big 12, West Virginia is ranked No. 9 in ESPN’s “way-too-early top 25” for the 2017-18 season. The Mountaineers return their leading scorer, Jevon Carter, who was the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year last season and is a preseason All-America candidate this season. Additionally, the Mountaineers will welcome back starters Esa Ahmad, who was second on the team in scoring last year, and Daxter Miles Jr., who started 26 games and played 21.0 minutes per contest.

Kentucky’s 2017-18 nonconference schedule

Date Opponent Location Arena
Oct. 13 Big Blue Madness Lexington Rupp Arena
Oct. 20 Blue-White Game Lexington Rupp Arena
Nov. 10 Utah Valley Lexington Rupp Arena
Nov. 12 Vermont Lexington Rupp Arena
Nov. 14 Kansas Chicago United Center
Nov. 17 East Tennessee State Lexington Rupp Arena
Nov. 20 Troy Lexington Rupp Arena
Nov. 22 Fort Wayne Lexington Rupp Arena
Nov. 26 UIC Lexington Rupp Arena
Dec. 2 Harvard Lexington Rupp Arena
Dec. 9 Monmouth New York Madison Square Garden
Dec. 16 Virginia Tech Lexington Rupp Arena
Dec. 23 UCLA New Orleans Smoothie King Center
Dec. 29 Louisville Lexington Rupp Arena
Jan. 27 West Virginia Morgantown, W.Va. WVU Coliseum