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Updated: Tuesday, December 3, 2002 10:10 AM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL PREVIEW
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High Point (2-1) at No. 18 Kentucky (2-1)
HIGH POINT PANTHERS
High Point Panthers
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KENTUCKY WILDCATS
Kentucky Wildcats
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LEXINGTON, Kentucky (Ticker) -- No. 16 Kentucky hopes to have more success in its home opener on Tuesday than it did last season when it hosts High Point.

High Point is Kentucky coach Tubby Smith's alma mater.

Last season, the Wildcats (2-1) were stunned by intrastate foe Western Kentucky in their home opener.

Kentucky, which is 23-3 in home openers at Rupp Arena and 84-15 all time in its first home contest, has only met High Point (2-1) once previously, a 102-49 rout on December 27, 2000.

The Wildcats went 2-1 for a third-place finish at the Maui Invitational. Keith Bogans scored 18 points as they defeated Gonzaga, 80-72, on Wednesday in the consolation game.

But in practice on Sunday, starting guard Antwain Barbour fell and suffered a third metacarpal fracture in his left hand. He is expected to be out for up to five weeks.

"Of course it's a heartbreaker," Barbour said. "Injury is bad for anybody. I don't think it will set me back much for when I start SEC play. I'm just going to rehab it and work on making it stronger everyday."

"We'll probably go with Jules (Camara) in the starting lineup now," Smith said. "Obviously we lose a ballhandler and a penetrator, but we add some rebounding and some stronger inside play. Our defense gets a little weaker on the perimeter because Antwain is so versatile and he can defend four different positions, but then our interior defense gets better."

High Point was routed by Clemson last Wednesday, 90-65. Joe Knight led the Panthers with 16 points and six rebounds.

"High Point has had a good run recently," Smith said. "They finished second in the Big South Conference tournament last year. They run a good motion offense and like to get the ball inside. We'll have to come out really focused and ready to play."


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