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Kentucky blows out Portland, Wildcats working back after dropping out of Top 25

Dec 8, 2012, 3:02 PM EDT

Archie Goodwin dunk AP

It seems like uncharted territory for the Kentucky Wildcats during the John Calipari Era.

Unranked in the second month of the season, the young Wildcats entered a string of home games against low- and mid-major competition before the start of SEC play.

Saturday against Portland, the Wildcats were firing on all cylinders, shooting nearly 50 percent from the floor, blocking 12 shots, and cruising to a 74-46 win at Rupp Arena.

Four players scored in double figures, including Archie Goodwin and Alex Poythress with 15 points apiece. Freshman center Nerlens Noel only had three shots, but was close to a triple-double with seven points, nine rebounds, and seven blocks.

Is this the work of “Camp Cal,” the practice policy instituted by Calipari in response to Kentucky’s fall?

In addition to a 7 a.m. practice, which is not uncommon in college basketball, Calipari called for an afternoon workout to get his players prepared for the SEC stretch.

“We weren’t in shape,” junior guard Jarrod Polson told the AP Friday. “Coach saw that and we needed something to get us off our feet, I guess. Going in there in the mornings as a team is a good way to start your day off and I think it’s going to help not only get us in shape but create more team bonding, stuff like that.”

The Wildcats have now won two in a row and have a week off for final exams before taking on Lipscomb next Saturday.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

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