Ever since John Calipari arrived in Lexington, summer basketball has been a fun chance to see promising Kentucky teams begin their journey to greatness.
The Canada trip in 2010 helped pave the way for Kentucky’s first trip to the Final Four since the 1997-98 season.
The 2014 Bahamas trip was the beginning of a memorable 38-1 season that also ended in the Final Four.
The 2018 Bahamas trip previewed what’s already shaping up to be another special season in Lexington.
In five days, the Wildcats crushed four teams with seasoned veterans and even high-level pros, though you would have never guessed it with how little Kentucky made them look.
The four wins came by an average margin of 29 points, highlighted by a 33-point win over Team Toronto on Sunday.
With the 2018 Bahamas trip wrapped up, here’s a look at the final player and team statistics:
Some initial takeaways:
- PJ Washington shot 60.6 percent from the charity stripe as a freshman, and he upped that average to 63 percent in the Bahamas. It’s a nice improvement since last season ended, and he’ll hopefully get that in the 65-68-percent range by the time Kentucky is playing Duke in Indy.
- Immanuel Quickley having 18 assists vs just two turnovers in absurd. He made a very strong case to be Kentucky’s primary ball distributor this season.
- Reid Travis will not shoot 34.1 percent from the field when the real season begins. He’s still getting comfortable with his new team and Kentucky’s system. Once he finds his rhythm, expect him to get that to around 45-50 percent in the regular season.
- Nick Richards had just six blocks in the Bahamas, but he only averaged 18.3 minutes per game. If he’s getting closer to 25 minutes per game like he deserves, he should be one of the top shot-blockers in the SEC next season, but it’s going to be hard for him to get more minutes if EJ Montgomery and the other bigs are healthy.
- Five of Kentucky’s main rotation guys — PJ, Travis, Quickley. Tyler Herro and Keldon Johnson — shot 40-percent or better from deep (Kentucky shot 38.2 percent as a team). This is going to be night and day different from last season when it comes to the long ball.
What was your biggest takeaway?