Team Toronto guard Duane Notice knows great Kentucky teams. The former SEC Sixth Man of the Year played for South Carolina from 2013-17, during which he faced the Cats five times. After his team lost to Kentucky 93-60 in the Bahamas on Sunday, Notice told his teammates that these Cats have what it takes to go far.
“The key is they know how to play the game and play the game right,” Notice told reporters. “I told my teammates they’ll be very good in the SEC. I think they’ll go far because of how hard they play. They gave effort. We’re not playing for anything here, except for your pride, so the fact that they played hard, not even having Coach Cal on the bench, means a lot to me as a young player. As a player that obviously played college basketball, looking back on it, it means a lot.”
Notice faced the 38-1 Kentucky team twice during his time at South Carolina, and said this team’s length is reminiscent of that great squad.
“I think they’ve very long. Obviously, I played against Karl-Anthony Towns and Willie Cauley-Stein, those guys. These guys are long, from one to five. That’s the difference. Even their wing players are very aggressive and they’re very long. They can get on the offensive glass and they really know how to move the ball.”
Notice scored a team-high 20 points for Team Toronto on Sunday, but said Kentucky’s young guards put him to the test, particularly Immanuel Quickley.
“They all played solid. They all played well and made good plays, especially on defense. I was impressed with No. 5 [Immanuel Quickley], he was picking me up full court. I feel like that’s very good, especially as a guy like myself who likes defense, just to live up to the challenge. No. 14, [Tyler] Herro, I heard his name throughout the summer, just to see that he lived up to the hype is a pretty good thing.”
It’s easy to discount Kentucky’s competition in the Bahamas, but that’s high praise from someone who helped lead South Carolina to the Final Four in 2017 and ranks 16th on their all-time scoring list (1,409 points).