If Kentucky didn’t already have the nations attention as a legitimate title contender before their trip to the Bahamas, they certainly do now. UK swept their competition in a dominant fashion, going undefeated against their professional opponents.
After calling all four of Kentucky’s Bahamas games together for ESPN, basketball analysts Dan Dakich and Seth Greenberg spoke very highly of the group on their Podcast, Courtside with Greenberg and Dakich.
“The most impressive thing I saw was a bunch of big, strong pros trying to intimidate the Wildcats,” Dakich said. “And the Wildcats said nah nah man. We’re gonna come right back at you. We’re gonna punch you in the mouth and truthfully (Kentucky) intimidated them.”
Greenberg concurred with Dakich about Kentucky’s toughness, but added that he thought they showed high level of maturity for such a young team.
“The thing that impressed me was the character of the kids. That’s what impressed me. Here’s the deal. The kids take this trip to the Bahamas, they had 10 days to practice. They’re playing good competition.
“Like I said, they didn’t play the Little Sisters of the Poor. They played good teams — not great teams, one team had a chance to get a guy drafted in the NBA — but those kids are lost in the game and they’re lost in each other. That’s what impressed me most. I thought they played really hard for a young group of kids. The hardest thing to do for a young team is to get them to play hard, to redefine playing hard. I thought they played hard.”
Greenberg went on to elaborate more about what impressed him from Kentucky.
“The second thing is to get a bunch of guys to play for each other. I can count on a hand how many bad shots I saw them making over those four games. You could see guys really appreciate each other’s success, and finally, this is a talented group. It’s a talented group that plays hard, plays together and some guys emerge.”
During their discussion, the pair complimented Tyler Herro for his shot making abilities and floor game. Greenberg also noted how Dakich compared Keldon Johnson to Miles Bridges on their broadcast, as well as PJ Washington to Draymond Green.
Out of the many UK players they talked about, the two they spent the most time on were Reid Travis and Nick Richards. Both of which for different reasons.
For Travis, Dakich described him as “stiff” when he started the tournament. As the tournament went on though, Greenberg and Dakich both believed Travis settled in and looked more comfortable. Neither predicted that Travis will post numbers close to what he did at Stanford because of Kentucky’s depth, but still average around a double double.
While they may have been somewhat down on Reid, they both absolutely gushed over Nick Richards. Dakich even said he fell in love with him. Greenberg added his own thoughts as well.
Overall, it sounded like Kentucky exceeded both their expectations.
“It’s going to be a good year for the Big Blue Nation,” Dakich stated. “I don’t think they’re going undefeated, but they’re gonna have a hell of a run here.”
You can listen to the podcast in it’s entirety on ESPN.