Bradley had a career high 21 points as the No. 22 Wildcats started with a 15-0 run to bury Mississippi Valley State 79-56 in their final tuneup before the Maui Invitational.
“If we play the way we played tonight, we're going to have a lot of fun,” Bradley said. “A lot of fun in the sun.”
Tubby Smith was victorious in his 500th game as a college coach. Smith, now in his 16th year as a head coach and 10th at Kentucky, improved to 367-133. He has coached 314 games at Kentucky, 122 at Tulsa and 64 at Georgia.
Although Smith said his team played far better than it did in winning the opener Wednesday against Miami of Ohio, he gave the highest marks to Bradley, his new point guard.
The knock on Bradley used to be that he never met a shot he didn't like, but Friday he connected on 8 of 11 from the field and 5 of 7 from 3-point range. More significant, Smith said, was his leadership at the point.
“He's always been a vocal player,” Smith said. “Tonight he was orchestrating, getting people in the right spots, talking. And that's contagious.”
The Wildcats (2-0) signaled they're ready for stiffer competition. They'll get it in Hawaii with a first-round matchup Monday against DePaul and possibly a second-round game Tuesday against national runner-up UCLA.
Randolph Morris had 18 points and nine rebounds for Kentucky, and freshman Jodie Meeks added 13 points.
The Delta Devils (0-3) didn't score until Larry Cox made a layup four and a half minutes into the game. In the first 12 minutes, Kentucky added an 11-0 run to their beginning burst.
“Tonight I thought we came out fired up,” forward Bobby Perry said. “I thought we showed a tremendous amount of intensity defensively from the start. We had that focus. We did what he had to do to win.”