North Florida braces for visit to streaking No. 10 Kentucky

No. 10 Kentucky has been losing players and winning games, and now the Wildcats hope to get some bodies back Friday night as they prepare to host North Florida in Lexington.UK was down four key contributors Monday night when they whipped Albany, for their fourth straight win. That enabled the Wildcats to move back into the top 10, tied with fellow Southeastern Conference member Alabama in this week’s AP Top 25.Kentucky is anticipating the return of guys like Davion Mintz (illness), Jacob Toppin (undisclosed injury) and Lance Ware (lower-body injury).”Our depth is short right now,” guard TyTy Washington Jr. said. “So, it’s our priority to make sure we’re in tip-top shape because at any given day, any given time of the game coach (John Calipari) can call our number. As long as you’re ready and warm, you’re going to be good.”Washington certainly was good against Albany, pumping in 20 points on 7-of-14 shooting to lead five Wildcats in double figures. Georgia transfer Sahvir Wheeler added 15 points and seven assists, while West Virginia transfer Oscar Tshiebwe chipped in 12 points and 14 rebounds.This team is one of the best-shooting teams in Calipari’s tenure, canning nearly 38 percent on 3-pointers so far and sinking 83.3 percent at the foul line.Yet, the addition of Tshiebwe, a rebounding machine, has been a key for Kentucky (4-1). He is averaging 16 rebounds a game — more than double any other Wildcat.This is a rare Wildcat team that doesn’t get to the foul line consistently. They are averaging just 13.2 free-throw attempts, which ranks 322nd among 358 Division I teams. Eight different Calipari teams have ranked in the top 50 in free-throw rate during his first 12 years at Kentucky.”When you shoot 22 threes,” Calipari said, “are you going to get fouled? No. You’re shooting floaters, are you going to get fouled? No.”