Onyenso, Bradshaw sit out Pro Day, expected to miss 5-6 weeks
Published 3:30 pm Thursday, October 12, 2023
It wasn’t a typical “Pro Day” for Kentucky on Wednesday night at Rupp Arena.
The yearly event, which draws scouts from NBA teams to Lexington to get an early evaluation of the Wildcats featured a different format.
The event changed its course from a combine-style workout to practice drills and scrimmages. Kentucky’s two big men — Aaron Bradshaw and Ugonna Onyenso – were on the court, but didn’t participate in contact drills. The two players took shots from the perimeter on one side of the court while the rest of the team took part in a layup drill on the other end of the floor.
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Coach John Calipari said both players could miss up to 5-6 more weeks, meaning both players likely won’t be available until after the first and maybe second month of the season. Big man Zvonimir Ivisic is expected to join the team Thursday, ahead of Big Blue Madness, set for Friday night.
“I can’t tell you how happy I am with how this all turned out,” Calipari said in a social media post. “The work was done by Big Z and his family. For him to be persistent and keep fighting was so impressive and it showed how badly he wanted to be a part of our team. He overcame all obstacles and just wouldn’t be deterred.
“When we started recruiting Z, my mind started moving to how we can help our University become even more prominent worldwide. This basketball program is a global brand and now we can continue to open new avenues for students to come to the University of Kentucky.
“Let’s continue to pursue some of the best basketball players in the world and showcase what a great institution the University of Kentucky is.”
During the workouts Wednesday, Calipari and his staff oversaw 4-on-4 scrimmages instead of the routine 5-on-5 matchups teams usually utilize when a full roster is intact. During one of the early scrimmages, Adou Thiero limped into the locker room and sat out the remainder of workout that lasted nearly two hours.
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Kentucky replaced Kansas as the all-time winningest program in history after the Jayhawks vacated 31 wins after receiving penalties for recruiting violations on Wednesday.
Kansas was placed on probation for three years and forced to vacate its 2018 Final Four appearance and games in which Silvio de Sousa appeared in during the 2017-18 season.
Entering the season, Kentucky has 2,377 wins, followed by Kansas with 2,370, North Carolina (2,343) and Duke (2,273).
The team’s annual Blue-White scrimmage is set for 6 p.m. on Oct. 21 at Truist Arena at Northern Kentucky University.
Ticket sales for the event will raise funds for Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund. Last year’s Blue-White scrimmage was held in Pikeville and funds from the scrimmage were given to a relief fund supporting victims of the deadly floods that impacted the region last year.