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John Calipari reflects on Bahamas trip, pumps the brakes on growing hype

Calipari loves where his team is right now, but he knows there’s still a long journey ahead.

Calipari Sea of Blue

To say Kentucky has impressed on this Bahamas tour is an understatement.

The Wildcats boosted their record to 3-0 in the exhibition slate with a 100-64 win over Mega Bemax on Saturday. In their wins over the Bahamas National Team, San Lorenzo De Almagro and Mega Bemax, Kentucky has averaged a margin of victory of nearly 28 points. The Wildcats have also scored 80 points or more in all three games.

John Calipari previously said he wouldn’t be surprised if Kentucky went 1-3. They’ve certainly outperformed his expectations, but he’s not getting too excited.

“I love how well we are playing, especially because it’s only August, but I’m not intoxicated by this,” Calipari said in a Facebook post Sunday morning. “It’s a great starting point, but that’s all it is. My advice to our fans is to enjoy this and stay in the moment. Let’s finish out the trip strong tonight vs. Team Toronto.”

In this Facebook post, Calipari also laid out the reasons why they’re doing this Bahamas trip: to bring the players together to bond, to identify the team’s strength and weaknesses early, and to figure out how much work needs to be done.

“We did this trip to bring this group of players together – and they have done just that. Part of that is because they are so into basketball that they are comfortable in their own skin, which makes it easy to be about other guys.

“The second thing is we needed to see some strengths and weakness, both individually and as a team, and what would work and what wouldn’t. We’ve definitely found some of that out.

“The third thing is we wanted to figure out where we are at this point after 10 practices. We are probably a little further ahead than what I thought, but make no mistake, #BBN, we still have a long ways to go.”

While it has more returning players than usual, this is still a young team that features mostly freshmen and sophomores. Many fans expected a good result in the Bahamas, but the Wildcats have been playing quality foreign teams and beating them handily, surpassing the expectations of everyone.

But Calipari can never let the fans get too excited too early. He did say they’d go 1-3, after all.