LEXINGTON — James Young scored 25 points on 11-of-16 shooting and Julius Randle added 21 as the Blue squad cruised past the White 99-71 in Kentucky’s Blue-White scrimmage on Tuesday night.
“James Young is what he is. That’s what you saw today,” UK coach John Calipari said. “What James Young could be is — forget about just scoring the ball and getting to the rim. He can really defend. He comes up with balls and steals.”
The public workout featuring the nation’s top freshman class saw many of Kentucky’s six McDonald’s All-American recruits delight a crowd of 15,305 with highlight-variety plays. A series of nice drives highlighted Young’s stellar night while Randle was strong inside on both ends; he had eight rebounds.
“I just had fun running up and down the court. It was fun to play a full game with everyone,” Young said of the scrimmage.
Aaron Harrison added 19 points and six assists for the Blue, which hit its first six shots en route to finishing 43 of 69 from the field (62 percent) and outrebounding the White 36-28. Dakari Johnson had 15 points and nine rebounds.
“It’s amazing to be a part of so much talent and such a great group of guys. It is amazing. No one really understands how competitive practices are and how good everyone is,” Harrison said. “I’m really blessed to be apart of a great group like this.”
Derek Willis’ 21 points led the White, which shot 45 percent (29 of 64). Sophomore 7-footer Willie Cauley-Stein combined for 15 points and seven rebounds playing for both teams.
“It doesn’t matter who we put out there. Everybody can play. The same thing would happen if we changed lineups in the first half. Everybody is jacked and juiced and ready to play,” Cauley-Stein said.
This year’s group of young Wildcats seem to get along with each other better than last year’s team did. Calipari said developing that chemistry will be a work in progress.
“They really like each other, but we’ve got a whole season. We’ve got to get dinged up a little bit. Like I said, you can’t compare how you’re playing to somebody else. Just be the best version of yourself,” he said. “If somebody goes for 30, don’t have that affect how you think or play. We could have as many as seven, eight guys do that.
“Just play basketball, defend, rebound. If we’re going to be what we want to be, we’ve got to be a better defensive team, and I’m starting to zero in on defense.”
The Wildcats have exhibition games against Transylvania on Friday and against Montevallo on Monday. They’ll open the regular season on Nov. 8 against UNC-Asheville.