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Basketball Season Coverage

Big Blue Bahamas trip comparison: 2014 vs. 2018 (Part One)

Big Blue Bahamas trip comparison: 2014 vs. 2018 (Part One)

Two games down, two more to go.

The 2018-19 Kentucky Wildcats are currently participating in their Big Blue Bahamas foreign trip, where they have taken down the Bahamas National Team and San Lorenzo de Almagro. Both games have been had in Kentucky’s favor by a significant margin, winning game one by a final score of 85-61 and game two 91-68.

It’s a trip that has (thus far) followed in the footsteps of Kentucky’s 2014 adventure to the Bahamas, where they played a total of six games, coming away with victories in five. Their lone loss came against the Dominican Republic National Team, a unit comprised of grown men and numerous professional basketball players. Even in defeat, the Cats looked like juggernauts at the college level.

It was step one of what developed into one of the most historic seasons in college basketball history.

And by the looks of things, at least as shown in their most recent edition of the Big Blue Bahamas trip, we could be in for yet another special season.

So the Cats obviously play two fewer games this time around, so the comparison will be Kentucky’s first two games this year and their first three games of 2014.



Dominican Republic national team (participated prior to 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup. Ranked No. 26 in the FIBA World Rankings at the time)

Puerto Rico national team reserves

Champagne Chalons-Reims Basket, a French first-division club team


Game One vs. Puerto Rico – 74-49 victory (Aaron Harrison was the leading scorer with 15 points, followed by Karl-Anthony Towns and Alex Poythress with 10 points each)

Game Two vs. Champagne Chalons-Reims Basket – 81-58 victory (Towns led the team with 19 points and 10 rebounds, Poythress added 16 and eight. Eight Wildcats finished with at least five points)

Game Three vs. Puerto Rico – 93-57 victory (Poythress led Kentucky with 15 points and 10 rebounds, Marcus Lee added 14 points and seven rebounds. Four players finished with 10-plus points)

Average margin of victory: 28


Puerto Rico was arguably Kentucky’s easiest opponent of the week, so the stats are slightly skewed. It was the reserve team, and the Cats dominated accordingly. CCRB kept it relatively close for a while in game two, though the Cats pulled away easily. It was the first time John Calipari experimented with the platoon system, rotating in five players at a team in four-minute increments. Trey Lyles and Willie Cauley-Stein sat out due to injury, so we didn’t even get to see the capability of the full roster at the time.

Calipari did a ton of roster mix-and-matching, seeing which rotations worked the best and which players had chemistry with one another.

Much more dunking, highlight plays than we’ve seen thus far in 2018.




Bahamas National Team (No. 59 in FIBA World Rankings)

San Lorenzo de Almagro (Three consecutive championships in the Argentine National League (2015–16, 2016–17, 2017-18), Super 4 Tournament champion in 2016-17)

Mega Bemax (Deemed “European Kentucky” for its ability to put players in the NBA, Serbian Cup Champion in 2016, semifinals last year, NBA star Nikola Jokic played with the team before heading to the states, six NBA draft picks over the last three years)

Team Toronto (Top select Canadian players put together by coach Roy Rana, led 2019 U19 Canadian team to the gold medal at the FIBA World Championships)


Game One vs. Bahamas National Team – 85-61 victory (Nick Richards led the way with 19 points, with Tyler Herro not far behind with 16. Keldon Johnson added 11 points, while PJ Washington scored 10. Nine players finished with 16-plus minutes)

Game Two vs. San Lorenzo de Almagro – 91-68 victory (Tyler Herro led Kentucky with 22 points, followed by PJ Washington with 15. Six players finished in double figures, eight players with 16-plus minutes)

Average margin of victory: 23.5


Though Coach Cal swears he will never run a platoon system again, he has been rotating in two or three players at a time this year, even with Jemarl Baker out both games and EJ Montgomery out game two. It may never be a full five-in, five-out like 2014-15, but he has the talent to do massive rotations, and he’ll likely come close at times. It wouldn’t surprise me to see three or four-man rotations as the season progresses.

Compared to the 2014 Bahamas trip, this team has been more team-oriented, working on crisp passing and efficient play. Less “highlight” plays, more fundamental basketball.

Like 2014, we are soon finding out this team rises up against elite competition and has little to no weaknesses. Calipari is experimenting with three-big lineups, small-ball, and more. He knows this team will be talented and versatile.

I’d argue this schedule is tougher than the last trip down, specifically with tomorrow’s opponent, Mega Bemax. That will be a major test for the Cats.


Part two will be released following Kentucky’s fourth game on Sunday afternoon.

Tiffany Thacker State Farm’s Big Blue Bahamas KSR Photo Gallery: Kentucky’s Day Off

Tiffany Thacker State Farm’s Big Blue Bahamas KSR Photo Gallery: Kentucky’s Day Off

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Believe it or not, the Big Blue Bahamas trip is already halfway through.

Today, our photographer Dr. Michael Huang found his way onto the CATamaran with the basketball team, where he was able to snag some exclusive footage for KSR.

The end result is pretty awesome.

Take a look at the Kentucky team bonding boat trip through Dr. Mike’s lens:

We got some videos, too:

For the entire photo gallery, check it out below:

KSR photographer Dr. Michael Huang Photography somehow weaseled his way onto a boat with Kentucky Basketball in the…

Posted by Kentucky Sports Radio on Friday, August 10, 2018

The Aaron Torres Sports Podcast E68: Bahamas Recap + Corey Brewer

The Aaron Torres Sports Podcast E68: Bahamas Recap + Corey Brewer

It’s an action-packed episode of the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast, as Aaron is joined by NBA champion and two-time NCAA champion Corey Brewer joins the show. He and Aaron discuss his winding career, national championships at Florida and time with the Oklahoma City Thunder last season.
But before Corey, there’s actual basketball to talk, plus a little football, with topics including:
Kentucky’s trip to the Bahamas: The Wildcats have played two games, and Aaron is blown away by what he has seen so far. He explains why Tyler Herro is proving all his doubters wrong, and why Nick Richards has been the single biggest revelation of the trip. Aaron also explains why one freshman besides Herro has really impressed him – especially on the defensive end of the court.
The NCAA makes a bunch of rule changes: Aaron reacts to the big, sweeping changes in college basketball – that aren’t actually big or sweeping. He explains why rules like “players can now have agents” and “players can return to college if they go undrafted” aren’t exactly what they seem, and the one big rule that actually does matter.
Idiots questioning Alabama football’s schedule: Finally, Aaron goes in on all the haters who say Alabama plays a “soft” schedule because they don’t play road games. Aaron gives some facts to explain why that’s the dumbest narrative in all of sports.
Next, Aaron welcomes on Corey Brewer – who played last season with the Oklahoma City Thunder, to discuss his NBA career and time at Florida. The guys break down the following:
His early days: Corey explains took a unique path to the NBA, after growing up on a tobacco farm and running a garbage route with his dad. He explains how that drove him to work hard at basketball and instilled a work ethic that he still has to this day.
His time at Florida: Corey goes in-depth on Florida’s back-to-back runs with the Gators. He explains what allowed he and his teammates to click, and what went into their decision to return to school even after winning a title – the answer will surprise you. Also, what was it like to play against “peak Greg Oden” and were the 2007 Gators the last great team in college basketball?
Playing with the Oklahoma City Thunder: Finally, the pair discuss Brewer’s 2018 season with the Oklahoma City Thunder. He explains why Russell Westbrook was one of the best teammates he’s ever had, and why he wasn’t surprised that Paul George returned to OKC this off-season. Also, does he ever see Billy Donovan returning to college basketball?

You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play. Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise.  You can also get it directly to your phone by subscribing to the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast feed on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.

Today’s episode is brought to you by: