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Kentucky Wildcats 62, Dominican Republic National Team 63: Post Game Review

Kentucky comes up one point short in their rematch with the Dominican Republic National Team, and finishes the Big Blue Bahamas Tour at 5-1.

Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports

Well, I think many of us half-expected Kentucky to drop a game in the Bahamas, and today it happened as Kentucky goes down 63-62 to the Dominican Republic National Team. The DR did a fantastic job in the last couple of minutes to cut what had been an eight-point UK advantage down a little at a time, until finally they got the game-winner on a fall-away shot by Jack Martinez. Congratulations to Orlando Antigua and the Dominican Republic on a great win.

I have no concerns whatever about this loss. It was by far the worst overall performance of the week by the Wildcats, who definitely were showing the effects of six games in eight days. Alex Poythress, in fact, was unable to continue after around the eight minute mark. I hope there’s nothing wrong, but he didn’t look good at all. I think it was just fatigue, though. Let’s hope so.

The last three games of this Big Blue Bahamas tour turned out to be more of a grueling affair than we might have thought, and it just goes to show that ten days of practice is not enough to round into game shape. Having said that, I think that UK fans are very happy with the outcome, and although losing the last game in a nail-biter is not ideal, the success of this trip was overwhelming from every standpoint.


  • The second group had much more energy than the first all game long. I’m not sure why, and I’m not sure that it means anything other than they thought they had more to prove.

  • Kentucky’s 3-point shooting in this game was awful. In fact, I think they only made about five or six shots outside the paint all day.

  • I love how hard these guys played. Even at the end, when they were tired and probably just wishing this was over, they gave a lot of effort.

  • I thought Calipari should have coached at least one game against his former assistant, but I know he hates to do that.  John Robic coached, and did a good job.

  • I thought the officials let this game get a little too physical, and that favored the Dominicans. They are full-grown men and it showed late in the game.

  • What was that no-call on the everybody-into-the-pool lane violation on the late Tyler Ulis 1+1?

  • Kentucky really struggled, execution-wise, late in the game. I suspect the toll the games took on them was just a little too much by then.

  • Defense was much, much better in this game. At the same time, offense was much, much worse.

  • The Ulis three on the penultimate UK possession was not the shot we needed. I know Ulis is a good 3-point shooter, but I think that one needed to be a shot going to the basket.

Overall, this was a great experience for the team and fans alike. We got treated to some very good basketball for the time of year it is, and I think these young men got thrown into the deep end of the pool and came out swimming the individual medley. I was very pleased with the effort, the execution, and the competition overall. This will be extremely helpful in preparing UK for the season.

I recall the trip to Canada in Calipari’s second season. The competition on that trip was vastly inferior to what this team faced, and they played twice as many games on this trip as they did up in Canada, just to give you an idea of the difference in intensity and level of competition. Up there, UK played college teams on par with small universities in America. This trip saw UK play foreign national and professional teams on par with high Division I competition. They came out fine.

Great trip, great August for the Wildcats. If the football team can deliver even half this much excitement in their first few games, I’ll be thrilled.

The postmortem will come later as stats become available.