Kentucky finished off the Bahamas sweep, beating Team Toronto to go 4-0 for the week.
The Wildcats started slow, but picked up the pace late in the first half, and by halftime they led by 20. They didn’t look back after that, coasting to a fourth straight win.
This game featured much of the same of the last three: Tyler Herro shot well, PJ Washington appeared extremely versatile, and Quade Green was the definition of efficient.
Here are five things to know from the 93-60 win.
Starting lineup changes
The lineup looked a lot different in game four, as Kentucky trotted out this look:
- Ashton Hagans
- Tyler Herro
- Keldon Johnson
- PJ Washington
- Reid Travis
It was the first start of the trip for Herro, Hagans and Travis. Many had been calling for these three to start, especially Herro after his shooting expositions in the first three games. Herro didn’t disappoint as a starter, scoring 10 points in the first half, tied for a team high.
Watch Tyler Herro wipe his hands knowing he's about to get the ball and drain a 3. pic.twitter.com/GOCsyuhJBY— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) August 12, 2018
Travis impressed as well, recording a double-double.
Quade Green dominates
Green came off the bench today, but his impact wasn’t reduced. He single handedly went on an 8-0 run, and made 11-of-13 shots (dating back over the last few games). He helped keep the Cats from falling behind, as Kentucky seemed to lull a bit early on, and Team Toronto was able to hold it close for most of the first half.
With the help of that 8-0 run, he scored 10 points in the first half, which was tied for a team high in points.
Quade Green pulls up in transition and nails the second of back to back 3's. pic.twitter.com/KhIchx8SMb— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) August 12, 2018
Tough baseline pull up jumper by Quade Green. pic.twitter.com/jyIrKDnyIe— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) August 12, 2018
Green is a player that’s expected to emerge as a breakout star in his sophomore year. He showed the early signs of doing just that in this preseason trip.
PJ Washington’s versatility on display
Washington has a ton of hype and pressure surrounding him coming into his sophomore year. He’s expected to make a big jump in year two, and if the Bahamas trip was any indication, he has done just that.
Washington showed an improved versatility all week, but it was on full display in game four. He brought the ball up the floor, made passes in transition, finished with slams on the break, and even made a 3-pointer off a pick-and-pop play.
PJ Washington with a MAN jam! pic.twitter.com/Y4AncvUOzm— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) August 12, 2018
Pick and pop 3 pointer for PJ Washington. pic.twitter.com/TsxobAxzRe— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) August 12, 2018
PJ Washington knocks down yet another 3. pic.twitter.com/Dvy8dTJBLb— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) August 12, 2018
He has repeatedly drawn Draymond Green comparisons from commentators Seth Greenberg and Dan Dakich this week, and he fit that comparison well on Sunday.
Nick Richards shows improved assertiveness
Richards’ biggest knock last season was his lack of assertiveness and strength down low. In this Bahamas trip, and especially against Team Toronto, Richards has perhaps been Kentucky’s most imposing big man down low. He showed that with two huge blocks in game four.
Nick Richards with the emphatic swat. pic.twitter.com/1IVqyeypGf— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) August 12, 2018
He’s also showed a little more versatility than he had last year in the games this week, regularly hitting baseline jumpers from mid range.
Travis hitting threes
It was clear early in this trip that Reid Travis wasn’t completely comfortable with his new team, as he struggled to get anything going on offense. But he improved each game while also being a machine on the boards, and his offense really came round on Sunday.
Not only did Travis convert most of his attempts in the paint, he also hit a pair of threes:
My goodness, Reid Travis hits a corner 3 now. pic.twitter.com/LtcbVVolqy— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) August 12, 2018
Reid Travis makes his second 3 pointer. pic.twitter.com/cv0NQFvyMA— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) August 12, 2018
If Travis and PJ are hitting threes to go with everything else this team has, this offense will be unstoppable, and no one is keeping this team out of the Final Four.
Now, let’s discuss the Cats’ four-game destruction in the Bahamas.