Tiger men tangle with UK in Monday exhibition

-A A +A

2008 All-American Colmenares returns for CU.

By Bobby Brockman

Campbellsville University begins its 2009-2010 men's basketball season in a road exhibition game with the University of Kentucky where John Calipari will make his official game debut as head coach of the Wildcats.

The game will be televised live on FOXSportsSouth (Comcast channel 41 locally).

Tigers' head coach Keith Adkins begins his 10th season at the CU helm and will have four new starters. However, one of them, Nestor Colmenares, returns after being an NAIA All-American in 2007-2008.

The 6-8, 235-pound Colmenares is a preseason Sporting News All-American and averaged 15.3 points and 9.8 rebounds for CU two seasons ago.

Joining Colmenares in the starting line-up upfront will be senior Jordan Benock (6-2, 185), who returns for his third season after playing at Taylor (Ind.) University as a freshman.

At the other forward slot will be 6-5, 215-pound junior Leon Hart, a California junior college transfer who averaged 8 points, 5 rebounds and 1.5 blocked shots as a sophomore.

In the backcourt will be T.J. Bishop at the points and Caleb Harris at the off guard.

It's taken a long time for Bishop to make his Tiger debut. After playing at Pasco-Hernando Community College in Florida and Missouri Western and going to Florida Atlantic for a semester, Bishop was forced to redshirt in 2008-2009 before using his final season of eligibility.

Harris comes to CU from Kennedy-King College in Chicago, where he was 50th in the NJCAA in 3-point field goal percentage (42) and was fourth on the 23-10 team in scoring (9.7).

Junior Shawn Savage, who started at point guard last season, will move to shooting guard this season.

Justin Vitatoe also returns for the Tigers as does 6-9 Jonas Bohm, redshirt guard Adrian Whelan and Jake Gill, a late 2008-2009 season pull-up from the Tiger junior varsity.

The other new signees for Campbellsville are 5-11 guard Jermaine Carter (Monterey Peninsula College Lobos Junior College in California), 6-4 forward Joe Robinson (Collin Community College in Texas) and 6-4 forward Brett Crittenden (Pratt Community College in Kansas).

After tonight's exhibition, the Tigers play in the Lindsey Wilson College Classic this weekend. CU's first home game will come Nov. 13 during the first night of the Lou Cunningham Classic.

Editor's note: Information about the players for this story came from sports information director Chris Megginson's press release at Campbellsville University.