IUP men’s basketball team to clash with Kentucky in exhibition

August 8, 2018

Coach Joe Lombardi and IUP will face Kentucky in an exhibition game Nov. 2.

It will be labeled as an exhibition game on the schedule but it will mean a lot more to the IUP men’s basketball team.

To the Crimson Hawks, Nov. 2 can’t come soon enough.

IUP will play at national power Kentucky to open next season, following a yearly trend the Crimson Hawks have put in place under coach Joe Lombardi. They have played out-of-conference games against other Power-5 teams in Villanova, Syracuse, Michigan State, Maryland, Pitt, Florida State and others in recent years.

The game time against Kentucky and coach John Calipari has not been announced.

The Crimson Hawks will try to channel their inner Robert Morris when they take the court against the Wildcats, who contribute regularly to the NBA Draft. RMU stunned Kentucky in the first round of the NIT in 2013, 59-57, in Moon Township. Of course, a road test at Rupp Arena is one of the most daunting challenges in the game.

IUP will play 28 regular-season games. Other non-PSAC opponents include Concord, Fairmont State, Virginia State, Bowie State, Le Moyne and Division III Westminster.

Last season, IUP finished 22-8 and won an eighth PSAC West title. Preseason All-Americans Jacobo Diaz and Dante Lombardi are set to return.

The home opener will be Nov. 9 at home for the IRMC/Hilton Garden Inn Classic at the Kovalchik Convention & Athletic Complex.

Update hourly