Under John Calipari, the Kentucky Wildcats have sent some impressive teams to the Bahamas and laid down some pretty spectacular beatdowns, but this one is definitely up there.
Despite facing a Dominican Republic Select Team that added several professional veterans recently, Kentucky looked every bit like a national championship contender en route to a 108-56 destruction.
National Player of the Year Oscar Tshiebwe led the way with 17 points on 8/11 shooting. Six more Wildcats scored in double figures.
Kentucky was very efficient (56.5% from the floor) and careful with the ball (28 assists vs. five turnovers) while blocking 10 shots.
Good times indeed.
Here are the postgame notes via UK Athletics.
FINAL SCORE: Kentucky 108, Dominican Republic National Select Team 56
- This was Kentucky’s first exhibition game of the Big Blue Bahamas foreign exhibition tour. UK will play three additional games during the tour.
- The Wildcats return to the Baha Mar Grand Ballroom court on Thursday vs. Tech de Monterrey (Mexico). That game will tip at 7 p.m. on the SEC Network.
- UK improved to 10-1 in the Bahamas foreign tours. The Wildcats went 5-1 in their first foreign tour in the Bahamas in 2014 and 4-0 in their second stint in 2018.
- Kentucky is 141-12 all-time in exhibition games and has won 20 straight. UK is 38-1 in exhibition contests under head coach John Calipari.
- Kentucky’s starting lineup featured Sahvir Wheeler, Antonio Reeves, Jacob Toppin, Daimion Collins and Oscar Tshiebwe.
- Toppin scored the first points of the trip with a pair of free throws after snaring an offensive rebound on the Cats’ first offensive possession.
- Chris Livingston, Cason Wallace and Lance Ware were UK’s first subs. They entered at the 16:07 mark.
- UK jumped out to a 9-5 lead at the first media timeout. Collins drained an outside jumper, Reeves hit a 3-pointer and Tshiebwe converted a hook-shot off a Wheeler entry pass in the spurt.
- Kentucky’s defense flustered the Dominicans into four early turnovers before the first media timeout.
- Collins electrified the crowd with a thunderous slam and a traditional 3-point play to move the score to 23-13 with 8:43 to play.
- Adou Thiero and CJ Fredrick made their debut at the 5:52 mark. Thiero promptly swiped a steal and made a fastbreak dunk.
- A 3-pointer by Livingston lifted the Cats to a 20-point edge, but the Dominicans made a jumper just before halftime for the break’s margin of 43-25.
- UK’s defense registered seven blocked shots and eight steals, while forcing the Dominicans into 11 first-half turnovers.
- Nine of Kentucky’s 10 players scored in the half, paced by nine from Reeves who made a trio of 3s.
- Livingston led the way on the boards with six, but the Dominicans owned a 20-18 edge in the category.
- Wallace, Fredrick, Livingston, Collins and Ware opened the second half.
- The Cats began the half on a 9-0 run and forced the Dominicans into a timeout. Fredrick found Livingston for a corner 3, followed by dunks from Ware, Collins and Wallace.
- Wallace was the first Cat to reach double-figure scoring with a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 16:47 to play.
- A steal and 360-dunk by Toppin was followed by a swipe and lay in from Wheeler to push the lead to 33 at 75-42 with 10:07 to go.
- A traditional 3-point play from Tshiebwe off a nice feed from Collins lifted Kentucky to a 95-52 lead with 4:18 remaining.
- Brennan Canada made his first appearance with 4:18 to go.
- A dunk from Tshiebwe put the Cats over the century mark with 2:09 to play.
- Kareem Watkins entered the game at the 3:43 mark, while Grant Darybshire and Walker Horn checked in at the 2:04 mark.
- Tshiebwe led all scorers with 13 in the second half. Collins had 10 and Wallace chipped in with nine.
- Following a 3-pointer from Canada, UK had its biggest lead at 52 points with 29 seconds to play.
- Kentucky shot 26-41 (63.4%) in the second half and registered three blocks and five steals.
- Kentucky used its size to good advantage, outrebounding the Dominicans 43-35 and winning points in the paint, 56-20.
- Six Wildcats scored in double figures.
- Kentucky scored 23 points off turnovers and had 30 fastbreak points.
- UK had 10 blocks, compared with three for the Dominican National Team.
- UK dished out 28 assists and had just five turnovers.
- Six players registered three or more assists.
- The Wildcats shot well from all parts of the floor.
- UK was 42-74 (56.5) from the floor.
- Kentucky connected on 11-26 (42.3%) from long range.
- The Cats shot 13-14 (92.9%) at the free-throw line.
- Oscar Tshiebwe led all scorers with 17 points, including 13 in the second half. He was 8 of 11 from the floor.
- He also contributed six rebounds and a steal.
- Daimion Collins had an all-around game with 15 points, five rebounds, five assists, two blocks and one steal.
- Had it been a regular-season game, Collins’ point total and assists would have been career highs.
- Cason Wallace contributed 15 points and a team-high 26 minutes of action.
- Wallace also had five rebounds, three assists and two blocks.
- Antonio Reeves sunk four 3-pointers and tallied 12 points.
- It would have marked the 22nd time in his career he made at least three 3-pointers.
- Chris Livingston was the sixth Wildcat to reach double-digit scoring. He contributed in a variety of ways with three 3-pointers, a team-high eight rebounds and four assists.
- Jacob Toppin chipped in with eight points and a team-high three steals.
- Adou Thiero was a menace defensively with three blocks and two steals. He also tallied seven points and three assists on the offensive end.
- Brennan Canada sank a pair of late 3-pointers. Had it been a regular-season game, it would have been his first made 3-pointer and a career high in points.