Kentucky coach Billy Gillispie praised Slone's effort and liked the way he hustled on both ends of the court. Gillispie said Slone's work ethic is hard to overlook, even though Slone is a walk-on.
"He plays hard and shot the ball well," the Kentucky coach said. "I think that he can make shots and is used to scoring points, but more importantly, he plays hard and that is why he was in there early (Sunday)."
Slone said he hopes his blue-collar approach on the floor carries over and serves as an example for his teammates to follow.
"When one person does it on the team, it starts to show with other teammates," he said. "We just (feed) off one another. When other people see me diving on the floor, they'll think I care that much and they'll do the same thing. We've got to play for each other. You've just got to compete."
Slone's first shot attempt against Mississippi Valley State a 3-pointer - "wasn't too good" and bounced off the side of the backboard. The second one - his first field goal as a Wildcat - fulfilled a childhood dream.
"It was a big relief," he said. "I've dreamed that many times, hitting a shot like that."
Slone said making his first bucket from long range made him feel more comfortable on the floor.
"When you get in there, you're trying to get over the pregame jitters and get into the flow of the game," he said. "Getting in there and hitting that shot was a big relief."
Now that the first bucket is out of the way, Slone wants to keep improving and take the next step.
"I'm going to set bigger goals for myself," he said. "I'm going to try to learn from what I did today — watch some film and try to get better every day."
Slone said he was pleased Gillispie gave him a "real good chance" to prove himself and elevate his status as a member of the team.
"You start with trying to build trust with coach," he said. "That's where I am at right now. I'm a freshman and a walk-on, so I'm just trying to prove myself and show that I'm capable of playing and hitting shots in a game. It was great really playing out there today."
Since he has been playing for the Wildcats, Slone has always remembered the Keightley's parting words following his visit.
"He just told me to hang in there," he said. "He told me that times would get tough. I remember before I left campus, he told me that he would see me again real soon. I remember that more than anything."
Slone said when he's down, he recalls his meeting with Keightley.
"He's has been an inspiration to me, not only to me, but to the team and the university as whole," he said. "His words and what he told me will always be an inspiration to me."
Keightley would have been proud.