Kentucky to host High Point, former coach Tubby Smith

Tubby Smith will be returning to Kentucky as coach of High Point on Dec. 31 and Wildcats coach John Calipari is looking for a way to honor the coach who guided the program to the 1998 national championship.

It marks the 70-year-old Smith’s first game at Kentucky since parting ways with the school following the 2006-07 season.

“On Dec. 31 we are going to host @HPUMBB and welcome back @CoachTubbySmith in @Rupp_Arena for the first time since his days as our coach,” Calipari announced on his Twitter account. “We are working on some ways to honor Tubby and his time here and I can’t wait to fill in the #BBN in the near future.”

Smith, who is in his fourth season at High Point, went 263-83 and made 10 NCAA Tournaments in his 10 seasons as Kentucky coach. He was elected to the school’s athletic Hall of Fame in 2013.

He expressed his excitement over returning for a game at Rupp Arena in Lexington.

“We are very excited for our Panthers to compete against @UKCoachCalipari and the Wildcats this year. Looking forward to returning to Kentucky!” Smith wrote on Twitter.

Smith has a 34-53 record at High Point. His overall mark is 631-355 during a 30-year career that includes stints at Tulsa (1991-95), Georgia (1995-97), Kentucky, Minnesota (2007-13), Texas Tech (2013-16), Memphis (2016-18) and High Point.

Among Kentucky’s other games on the nonconference slate released Monday are a Nov. 9 game vs. Duke in the Champions Classic at New York, a Dec. 22 home game against in-state rival Louisville and a Jan. 29 visit to Kansas.