Leading up to the Kentucky Wildcats’ trip to the Bahamas, fans were led to believe that the match-up with Serbian champion Mega Bemax would be the measuring stick for how far along the Wildcats are in their development.
Kentucky responded by throttling the international professional squad with a score of 100-64 in a game where Brad Calipari got over ten minutes of playing time.
The Michigan Wolverines took on Mega Bemax in Spain on Thursday on a trip they hoped would build on their run to the national championship game back in March.
But Michigan ended up on the wrong end of a learning experience as they fell to the Serbians 81-73.
After tough second quarter U-M rallies in 2nd half, but falls in Spain.— Michigan Men's Basketball (@umichbball) August 23, 2018
Learn & Grow as we have a final here in Sant Julia de Vilatorta
KK Bemax - 81, Michigan - 73#VamosAzul
Hang in there with us as the WiFi here is touch & go
Granted, the Wolverines lost some of their top players from a year ago. However, they have a returning core of Zavier Simpson, Jordan Poole and Charles Matthews and sit in the top-25 of every major poll going into next season, including No 16 at SI.
Given that this is the first common opponent the Wildcats have had with another top-25 team this preseason, it is certainly worth comparing the matchups.
Kentucky rolled against Mega Bemax and spent most of the second half in cruise control. The Wildcats had six players in double figures (and Reid Travis had eight). Jonny David picked up five minutes of playing time to go with Calipari’s ten. It was as thorough of a beating as you will see on a basketball court.
Michigan trailed the Serbian team by double digits for much of the game before closing the gap late. Their match-up with Mega Bemax looked much more like what we expected their game with Kentucky to be. The Wolverines could not match the physicality of the professional players and struggled to score for most of the game.
Does this mean Kentucky is 40+ points better than Michigan?
Yes Not necessarily. But it does indicate that the Wildcats are closer to being a dominant college basketball team than many believed after the Bahamas tour.
Is it November 6th yet?