Originally written on Fox Sports  |  Last updated 10/23/14

NEW ORLEANS - MARCH 20: Coach John Calipari of the Kentucky Wildcats talks to his team during the second round of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the New Orleans Arena on March 20, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Dave Martin/Getty Images)
Now that Kentucky has a pair of hard-fought games under its collective belt, John Calipari's squad should be more than ready to showcase its budding talent in front of a Rupp Arena crowd. The third-ranked Wildcats expect to have an easier time in their home opener against Lafayette on Friday night. Defending national champion Kentucky (1-1) has few prominent pieces remaining from last season's 38-2 group that sent three freshmen and two sophomores to the NBA. The Wildcats again have some potential one-and-done talent, but don't expect to be as dominant, at least not right away. After holding on for a 72-69 victory over Maryland in Brooklyn last Friday, Calipari felt the Wildcats continued to make strides in a 75-68 loss to ninth-ranked Duke on Tuesday in Atlanta. Alex Poythress had 20 points while fellow freshmen Nerlens Noel and Archie Goodwin each added 16 as Kentucky nearly overcame a 14-point deficit against a veteran Blue Devils team. "I think we learned a lot about ourselv...
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