How to watch Kentucky Wildcats vs Mega Bemax
Date: Saturday, August 11 at 7 pm EST
Where: Atlantis Imperial Arena
TV: SEC Network
Online Stream: WatchESPN
Announcers: Tom Hart, Seth Greenberg and Dan Dakich are calling the action.
Replay: WatchESPN and SEC Network at 1 am EST on Sunday, August 12. You can also watch replays of Kentucky’s first two games throughout Saturday on the SEC Network.
Radio: Voice of the Wildcats Tom Leach and Mike Pratt will have the UK radio network call on 630 AM and 98.1 FM in Lexington or online at UKAthletics.com.
Kentucky Roster | No Mega Bemax Roster
Odds: Bovada had Kentucky as a nine-point underdog against San Lorenzo, so they may want to lay off placing odds on any more Bahamas games, but we’ll keep you posted if any odds come out.
I know what you are thinking, but this is not a team comprised of superheroes from Big Hero 6.
Mega Bemax is the sponsorship name, but the team is actually Košarkaški klub Mega Basket, a Serbian team filled with young guys looking to make names for themselves.
They play in the Adriatic League (ABA) First Division, which is the highest level league in the area formerly known as Yugoslavia. They captured the Serbian Cup and won the ABA in 2016, and they are always one of the top competitors in the league.
The most famous member of Mega Bemax is Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic, but they have actually had nine players selected in the last five NBA Drafts.
- 2014 - Nikola Jokic, Vasilije Micic, Nemanja Dangubic
- 2016 - Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Ivica Zubac, Rade Zagorac
- 2017 - Vlatko Cancar, Ognjen Jaramaz, Alpha Kaba
Obviously, none of these players are currently on the Mega Bemax roster. But there is a strong chance that there are future NBA players that will be on the court against Kentucky on August 11th.
Mega Bemax is led by center Goga Bitadze who averages 11.8 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. He entered the NBA Draft this year but ultimately withdrew after being projected as a late second-round pick.
Their leading perimeter scorer is Kostja Mushidi, who scored 9.8 points per game last season. He’s drawn some comparisons to Jusuf Nurkic, a great young big man for the Portland Trail Blazers.
Mushidi had an injury-riddled 2017-2018 season, but he is hopeful to wrap up his contract with Mega Bemax in 2019 and enter the NBA Draft.
“When Mushidi is hitting his 3-pointers, like he was in the Hoop Summit game, and at times in the practices, he has the makings of a very solid utility role-player,” according to Draft Express.
This will be an interesting match-up in that both teams are filled with young players (all but one player on Mega Bemax is 23 or under) trying to find a path to the NBA.
This is probably the team most similar to Kentucky in roster makeup, so it may be the best measuring stick for Kentucky going into the season.
3 things to watch for
Richards vs Bitadze
It’s been a great start in the Bahamas for Nick Richards, who has scored 29 points on 11 of 13 shooting. However, the Bahamas team had no one close to being capable of defending him, and San Lorenzo didn’t either after Joel Anthony was a late scratch.
Bitadze is probably going to be the best big man Richards goes against during this trip, so it will be interesting to watch how these two talented big men fare against each other.
Heck, both guys are eligible for the 2019 draft, so they could be competing for position in it. This will be the best matchup to watch in this game.
The guard rotation
We already knew the backcourt was stacked, but it looks even deeper and dangerous than we realized. Quade Green has started both games, but his spot already looks in danger with Immanuel Quickley and Ashton Hagans both doing a lot of great things. Both already look like superior defenders to Green, though the latter has been better at running the offense.
Then you’ve got Tyler Herro emerging and getting minutes at the 2 and 3, which is making it harder to play those four along with Keldon Johnson. All of these guys need to be playing, but finding a way to get all of them adequate minutes is going to be a major challenge for John Calipari, so it will be interesting to watch this continue to play out in the Bahamas.
The Cats are dealing with a couple of injuries that are hopefully minor, but they’ve been enough to cost EJ Montgomery and Jemarl Baker precious game experience.
Baker has been sidelined for the first two games and looks highly questionable to play at all in the Bahamas. That would be a major blow to his chances of cracking the rotation this year. He’s already clearly the 10th man on this loaded roster, and at this rate, Brad Calipari may pass him by.
As for Montgomery, he’s battling a back injury that he’s dealt with since the start of the trip. It led to him being sidelined Thursday after he had a nice outing in Game 1. Him being out allowed Nick Richards, PJ Washington and Reid Travis to show they can carry the frontcourt, so EJ is also in danger of falling in the rotation.