Takeaways from Game 2 of Kentucky in the Bahamas vs. Tec De Monterrey – KSR

Takeaways from Game 2 of Kentucky in the Bahamas vs. Tec De Monterrey - KSR

Sometimes two teams don’t belong on the same basketball floor together and, respectfully, that was the case Thursday night when the University of Kentucky hosted Tec De Monterrey from Monterrey, Mexico, in a friendly preseason competition on the beautiful island of New Providence in the Bahamas.

For Kentucky, it was the second exhibition game in two nights a well-rounded Wednesday debutand the new crop of Wildcats once again looked unstoppable in Game 2 with a nearly flawless victory, 102-40, that promoted the fan base’s overreactions. Big Blue Nation doesn’t mean to overreact or set unreasonable expectations based on these summer exhibitions, but when the most passionate fan base in college basketball sees Kentucky beat two teams by a combined score of 210-96, it’s hard to temper excitement for what it is. forward in 2022-23, even if they play a team that looks like your local YMCA league.

So let’s unapologetically overreact and talk our smack with more takeaways from what we’ve seen from the team in the Bahamas so far. Sure, the competition wasn’t exactly Gonzaga or Kansas (although, it might be slightly better than Louisville), but fans and the players themselves can still enjoy the extra basketball and dream big.

A new starting five with a surprise rookie

In the first demo game against the Dominican National Select Team, John Calipari opened the game with a veteran lineup of Sahvir Wheeler, Antonio Reeves, Jacob Toppin, Daimion Collins, and Oscar Tshiebwe. Against Tec De Monterrey, he shuffled the order just a little by sliding rookie Adou Thiero for Collins with the other four from last night.

G – Sahvir Wheeler
G – Anthony Reeves
G – Adou Thiero
F – Jacob Toppin
F/C – Oscar Tshiebwe

It’s all part of Calipari’s plan to play a different lineup in each half of the four Bahamas games, and Adou Thiero celebrated his first start by getting a 3-pointer away on the first possession. The heat control didn’t drop, but he still pointed out of there with 22 minutes played and a 5-of-7 shooting clip from the field for 13 points with six boards.

Take some time to read as Calipari described his unranked freshman find Thursday before the game. Their history goes way back.

Lance Ware did not play

Additional roster: Lance Ware did not play due to a minor shoulder injury.

I know at least one person who was upset.

Oscar Tshiebwe, Sahvir Wheeler did their thing

After Game 1 last night, we didn’t put much emphasis on the play of Kentucky’s two returning starters, Oscar Tshiebwe and Sahvir Wheeler, because the fan base is much more interested in learning more about the new guys. We know we get rebounds from Tshiebwe and assists from Wheeler, and so far they’ve both picked up where they left off while sharing floor time with the rest of the team.

Tonight, Tshiebwe and Wheeler were in top form with 14 rebounds for Big Oscar and a 14-point, 10-assist effort from Wheeler. Not to take away from those numbers, but during the broadcast Tom Hart said it looked like Tshiebwe was playing against sixth graders.

To Tom’s point, here’s a fun visual:

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(Photo: Dr. Michael Huang/KSR)

More love from Daimion Collins

Still on the run from the Royal Bahamas Police Force for his double homicide against the Dominican team, Daimion Collins again showed for Big Blue Nation with 10 points in the first half in a reserve role off the bench.

My favorite part of Collins’ new game, aside from jamming on people’s foreheads, is his finishes on 3-point shooters with both hands extended. I wrote about it last night and tonight his outstretched arms hit an opposing outside shot.

Who does this?

We have a favorite for Bahamas MVP.

Final box score

One of the two freshman All-Americans on the team, Chris Livingston not content with a spot behind Kentucky’s experienced forwards. Akron’s combo forward had another big night with 14 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the field and 10 boards, a double-double after leading the team in rebounding and hitting three 3-pointers 24 hours earlier.

With Livingston’s versatility, he could be a useful knife off the bench for Kentucky, or he may just be one of the better players on the team.

The elephant in the room

Now is not the time to delve into this, but I will note that the excitement surrounding the basketball players was spoiled earlier in the day when the conversation took a hard turn to Basketball vs. Football. Whatever you think Calipari’s commentsIt cannot be denied that it upset his colleagues across campus and stole the spotlight from a basketball team that brought a lot of joy to the fans with this Bahamas trip.

On today’s KSR radio show, we spent two hours talking excitedly about everything that happened in the Dominican Republic game. Now tomorrow’s show will be about the unnecessary drama when we should be talking about Bahamian strokes and basketball excitement. It’s silly, but you can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube. We are already soaked by rivals. I was at a packed bar full of Cats fans for the game and all they wanted to talk about was the Calipari interview. It didn’t have to be like this.

Kentucky is a women’s track school anyway.

Tom Hart and Dane Bradshaw each went 606

Behind the microphones calling the game, Tom Hart and Dane Bradshaw wore #606 shirts to bring attention to the flood relief efforts in Eastern Kentucky, a real nice gesture from our friend Tom and one of the only Vols we like.

Photo by Dr. Michael Huang | Kentucky Sports Radio

Next: Rest up for the weekend

Now with a 2-0 record through two exhibitions, Kentucky Basketball will take off tomorrow to rest their legs and see the venues, plus some charity work in the local community through Samaritan’s Feet. On Saturday, they return to the Baha Mar ballroom to play Carleton University, a Canadian team that has had recent success against the SEC. From 2017-18, Carleton beat Ole Miss, Alabama, and Vanderbilt twice. However, this current Carleton team has lost both of its games against NCAA competition this summer; first to Northeastern, 91-104, then to Florida State by Cam’Ron Fletcher, 64-98.

On Sunday, Kentucky will complete its four-game run in the Bahamas against the Bahamas National Team before an evening flight home to Lexington.

For now, go get some sleep with sweet dreams of #9.

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