How to watch Kentucky Wildcats vs the Bahamas National Team
Date: Wednesday, August 8 at 7 pm EST
TV: SEC Network
Announcers: Tom Hart, Seth Greenberg and Dan Dakich will be on the call.
Live Online Stream: WatchESPN
Replay: WatchESPN and SEC Network at 1 am EST on Thursday, August 9
Radio: Voice of the Wildcats Tom Leach and Mike Pratt will have the UK radio network call on 630 AM and 98.1 FM in Lexington or online at UKAthletics.com.
Kentucky Roster | No Bahamas Roster
What are you watching for tonight?
The message at the team meeting last night was simple: Go out, have fun and let's see where we are. We've worked our tails off; now let's see where we've got to go. #BigBlueBahamas #All40 #DreamBig pic.twitter.com/F38T8LjGda— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) August 8, 2018
The 2018-2019 Kentucky Wildcats will get a jump-start on the season this week, heading to the Bahamas for a series of exhibition games. The last time Kentucky took a preseason trip was for the 2014-2015 season, and that turned out pretty well.
Looking ahead to Atlantis, it may be interesting to know what the young Wildcats are up against. What kind of competition will they see there?
Have no fear, we have you covered on Kentucky’s first opponent of the trip.
In case you are not familiar with basketball in the Bahamas, you should know that you are not missing a ton. The Bahamas National Team was recently in action in the FIBA Americas Qualifiers just last month, but found limited success in pool play.
They finished with a record of 1-5, finishing last in Group D (Canada, The Virgin Islands, and the Dominican Republic were also in the group) and failing to qualify for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
The Bahamas’ leader in points, rebounds, and overall efficiency was former Oklahoma Sooners and current Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield. After Hield, there was a huge dropoff in every statistical category. He truly carried them throughout pool play as they were only able to bring home a single victory.
He will not be playing in the upcoming exhibition games.
The leading scorer on the current roster is former Maryland Terrapins and Texas Longhorns center Shaquille Cleare, who averaged 12 points and 5.7 rebounds per game in the FIBA games. In his final season at Texas (2016-17), Cleare averaged 8 points, 4.6 rebounds and 0.6 blocks per game.
Cleare is joined in the frontcourt by former Daytona State star Kadeem Coleby, who pulls down 3.5 rebounds to go with his 8 points per game.
His brother Dwight Coleby played college basketball for Ole Miss, Kansas and Western Kentucky. Dwight averaged 11.1 points, 8 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game this past season in Bowling Green. According to the Herald-Leader, Dwight will not play in the Bahamas.
Former Wagner standout Michael Carey is the big backcourt threat. He averaged 11.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game in FIBA play. In his final college season (2016-17), Carey averaged 13.8 points, 9.1 rebounds per game (wowza) and 1.7 assists per game.
All in all, this will likely be Kentucky’s ‘easiest’ game of the trip, though it will still be a major challenge.
But ask John Calipari, and he’ll tell you wins don’t matter here. Growth does.
“There’s a bigger picture. Do we want to win every game we play? Yeah, but this is going to be a hard deal,” said Calipari in a recent meeting with the medis. “We lose a couple, we lose three, whatever it is.
“Did we learn about this team? And that’s what I want to do. I don’t know if I’ll coach or not. I’m probably going to let the assistants coach the games and I’ll sit up in the seats so it gives me a better chance to watch and learn from them.”
PJ Washington also knows that growth is the real goal, though he is also just excited to face an actual opponent.
“It will help us a lot because right now we haven’t really played anybody else but us, so going out there and seeing how we compare to other teams is going to be great at this point in the stage before the season especially in August,” said Washington.
“I feel like we’re going to be really good some way into the season, and I just can’t wait to get out there and play somebody else.”
It’s time to ball.
2018 Bahamas Trip Game Schedule
- Aug. 8 – vs. the Bahamas national team - 7 pm EST on SEC Network
- Aug. 9 – vs. San Lorenzo de Almagro - 7 pm EST on SEC Network
- Aug. 11 – vs. Mega Bemax - 7 pm EST on SEC Network
- Aug. 12 – vs. Team Toronto - 4 pm EST on SEC Network