John Calipari and Kentucky are 2-0 after a pair of early-season wins against Howard and Duquesne at Rupp Arena.

That said, the difficulty level rises significantly on Tuesday during the annual Champions Classic at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The Wildcats will take on Michigan State, 6 years after the last meeting between Calipari and Tom Izzo during the 2016 event at Madison Square Garden. The 2 teams met for the first time in 2013 in that year’s edition in Chicago.

The main talking point will be the health of stars Oscar Tshiebwe, Sahvir Wheeler, and Daimion Collins. Wheeler scored 11 points in 27 minutes against Duquesne, going 4-of-7 from the floor. Tshiebwe and Collins didn’t play.

Calipari, on Twitter on Monday, conceded that the game against the Spartans was “going to be really hard for us to win” considering the Wildcats’ injuries, but had a message for the team’s fans regardless: patience.

“You know what? I can’t wait to see where we are against a well-coached team,” he said. “Let’s all be patient with this team. I need to be the first one to be patient.”

What’s notable is the shirt Calipari is wearing: names of his freshly-signed top-ranked 2023 recruiting class: Aaron Bradshaw, DJ Wagner, Justin Edwards, Reed Sheppard, and Rob Dillingham.

Message received, Coach.