The Kentucky Wildcats have been nothing short of impressive during their 2-0 start in the Bahamas. On Wednesday, they defeated the Bahamian Team 85-61. They followed that up by blowing out Argentinian professional team, San Lorenzo, 91-68.
Let’s take a look at the players individually and see if their stock is going up, down, or staying as is for the time being.
Tyler Herro: Up
Herro has arguably been the best player for the Wildcats in the Bahamas so far. He’s combined for 38 points going 13-21 from the field and 4-8 from three-point land. Herro has shown that he is not just a three point specialist. He can score from every spot on the floor, including some nice dunks.
The kid can flat out ball, and he’s turning out to be much better than we anticipated. Herro has been the one player that has proven that he can flat out get buckets when Kentucky needs them.
Nick Richards: Up
Sophomore Nick Richards looks like a completely different player from what we saw last season. He is confident in his game, and it seems like he’s decided that he is going to emphasize his defensive presence. He scored double-digits in both games and is showcasing a baseline jump shot that we never saw last season.
As far as the big men were concerned, Richards looked as if he was going to be the odd man out in regards to playing time, but he is making a very strong case in the Bahamas that he deserves to be on the court and that he can be a difference maker.
Immanuel Quickley: Down
Out of the guards, Quickley seems to be the one that may have to fight for minutes. While he has started both games in the Bahamas thus far, I haven’t been overly impressed with what he brings to the table compared to the other guards on the team.
He does a good job running the offense and creating for his teammates but I just feel right now that there isn’t an IT factor that he brings to the table.
That’s the scary thing about how deep and talented this team is: Just being ‘good’ may not be enough to hold your spot in the rotation.
Reid Travis: Up
Even though he struggled to score in his first game for Kentucky, the former Stanford Cardinal has made an impact already. He brings an intensity and a hustle on the boards that we have not seen since Julius Randle.
He’s had 15 points and 20 rebounds in his two games in the Bahamas. He looked more comfortable in the second game than he did in the first. The speed of the team made him look out of sorts, but he caught up with them and looked great once he acclimated.
EJ Montgomery: Hold
EJ Montgomery did some nice things against the Bahamas team, but he was sidelined with a back injury against San Lorenzo.
In the first game you could see flashes of how good he could be. He was 4-6 from the field and looked extremely smooth and athletic for his size. The question is which of these big men are going to be casualty of too many bodies?
If Montgomery’s back injury keeps him out of the rest of the games in Atlantis, then does he fall behind?
Ashton Hagans: Up
Hagans hasn’t started a game in the Bahamas, but I don’t think that will be the case once the season starts. His speed and court vision are what John Calipari loves to see in his point guards. His tenacity on defense is what sets him apart from the other guards on the team.
You can see the potential for offensive prowess once he gets comfortable in his skin at the college level. After all, he should be a high school senior right now.
PJ Washington: Hold
While PJ Washington hoped to come back to showcase his perimeter game, he hasn’t done it so far. He is still more potent when he gets the ball on the block or when he is creating something in the middle of the paint. That’s not to say we won’t see it as the season progresses. But for now, he isn’t much different than he was last season.
He’s still an extremely important piece to the puzzle, and he’s going to have an impact on the team. But the perimeter game of Washington is on hold for the moment.
Quade Green: Down
After an abysmal game against the Bahamian team, Quade Green got back on track against San Lorenzo. But the stat line of 5-15 from the field and 1-7 from three isn’t going to cut it for Kentucky.
Even though Quade has struggled a bit, he still has a good attitude, and he’s being a leader on the court. With Herro scoring like he has been and the point guard positions seemingly locked up by Quickley and Hagans, Green may be back in the same position as he was last season coming off of the bench.
Keldon Johnson: Hold
There were moments that we all thought Keldon Johnson was going to rock the rim at the Atlantis resort, but alas, he missed the dunks. But make no mistake, the potential for him to be a big-time player is there.
While he’s played well and hit some shots from the inside and the outside, we haven’t really seen all that Johnson can bring to the table. I think he is going to be much better than what we’ve seen in the Bahamas.