UNC Asheville finds itself different from past teams

Kentucky is well aware of UNC Asheville’s history of throwing scares or even beating high-profile opponents. Most famously, the Bulldogs nearly became the first 16-seed to beat a No. 1 seed in a NCAA Tournament game against Syracuse.

“They’re going to play good,” UK wing Jon Hood said. “They’re going to play hard. And they’re probably going to sling threes from everywhere.”

That might come to pass in Friday night’s opener in Rupp Arena. But UNC Asheville’s first-year coach, Nick McDevitt, said that the Bulldogs are a different kind of team this season.

“We’ve got a chance to be a pretty good ball club this year,” he said. “However, we operate much differently and look much differently than (past teams).”

In the storied past, UNC Asheville featured two four-year starters at guard. Its post players were 6-4 and 6-5, McDevitt said.

“This year, we’re quite big,” he said. “We have five guys 6-9 or taller. We will be a little bit different.”

Center D.J. Cunningham, a 6-10 senior, set a school record with 93 blocks last season.

Forward Will Weeks, who is 6-6 and 220, serves as a point-forward for the Bulldogs.