The Cats will be without Jemarl Baker (swelling in knee) and EJ Montgomery (lower back issue) tonight. Neither is believed to be serious. It was revealed during Wednesday’s pregame show that Montgomery had a minor back issue, so after he played that night, Kentucky probably wanted to play it safe and not have him go back to back days.
Coaching wise, Tony Barbee is leading Kentucky tonight while John Calipari continues to stay in the stands and evaluate players.
Also, Bovada has actually released odds for this game. San Lorenzo is favored by nine points with an over/under of 155.5 points.
How to watch Kentucky Wildcats vs San Lorenzo de Almagro
Date: Thursday, August 9
Game Time: 7 pm EST
TV: SEC Network
Announcers: Tom Hart, Seth Greenberg and Dan Dakich.
Live Online Stream: WatchESPN
Replay: WatchESPN and SEC Network at 1 am EST on Friday, August 10
Radio: 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 San Lorenzo Roster
What are you watching for tonight?
The Kentucky Wildcats’ second Bahamas matchup comes against a professional Argentinian team with a veteran roster. This will be a fun test for Kentucky, as this is sure to be a physical affair.
San Lorenzo de Almagro is a club basketball team out of Buenos Aires, Argentina. They currently play in the Liga Nacional de Básquet (LNB), which is the highest level of the Argentinian National League.
If you do not think that sounds impressive, think again. Argentina is a country that quickly rose to international prominence and even won the Olympic Gold Medal in 2004. Basketball played in Argentina is high quality and is not something to underestimate.
Oh yeah, San Lorenzo has also won the LNB three years in a row. This is a group of veteran professional players, most of them in their mid-20’s to early-30’s that has been successful in an elite Argentinian league.
They are led in scoring by former Depaul standout Darquavis Tucker, who averages 16.2 points per game. He once scored 58 points in a G-League game and scored 53 in another.
In both 2010 and 2011, Tucker won the D-League Slam Dunk Contest and was named the D-League’s Most Improved Player in 2011. He never could make an NBA roster, but he’s proven he’s a very dangerous pro who Kentucky will have a tough time containing.
In his final season at Depaul (2008-09), Tucker averaged 18.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.4 steals per game. He’s one of the most well-rounded players that will play in the Bahamas.
Former Argentina League MVP Nicolas Aguirre runs the point efficiently with 9.7 points and 5.7 assists per game. He was also MVP of the 2014 Super 8 Tournament. Kentucky’s backcourt will have its work cut out for it in this game.
On the wing is Marcos Mata, who plays in the Argentine League. He averaged 8.2 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game this past season.
This will be a great opportunity to learn about where the Wildcats need the most improvement moving into the season, and this is a game they can definitely lose against a veteran team that has had years to build chemistry.
3 things to watch for
Reid Travis’ bounceback
Wednesday was a rough debut for Reid Travis is a Kentucky uniform. While he was great on the boards, he was a ghost offensively. The Bahamas’ length clearly was bothering Travis around the rim and really made him start thinking about his shots as the game wore on.
Mind you, this is a guy who went right at guys like Deandre Ayton with no fear and scored 20+ points. While Travis may have limitations, his college career suggests he’ll bounce back and make this look like a blip on the radar.
It needs to begin Thursday for Kentucky to beat a much better San Lorenzo team.
All offseason, we’ve hard how Kentucky’s three-point woes were a thing of the best. So far, we’re not seeing that, as Kentucky struggled mightily from deep against the Bahamas.
Quade Green really struggled from deep after being arguably Kentucky’s best shooter last year. Now to be fair, this is a weird arena that’s nothing like what Kentucky will play in the real season, but you’d still like to think they can shoot better than what we saw Wednesday.
This has to improve for this team to be a true title contender, so like Travis’ offensive woes, let’s hope this is nothing more than a blip on the radar.
As mentioned about, San Lorenzo has a very dangerous backourt that will prove to be a major test for Kentucky to contain. You could argue it’s better than anything Kentucky will face next season, and that includes a Duke backcourt that will have RJ Barrett in it.
As bad as Kentucky’s guards were at times against the Bahamas team, they did play great defense, especially when it came to Ashton Hagans and Keldon Johnson. Seeing them go against Nicolas Aguirre and Darquavis Tucker will be fun to watch.
Remaining Bahamas Trip Game Schedule
- 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