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Kentucky cruises past Monterrey Tech: 5 things to know and postgame cheers

It was another impressive performance for the Cats in the Bahamas.

UK Athletics

The Kentucky Wildcats were in action Thursday night for their second of four games this week in the Bahamas.

After a win over the Dominican Republic National Team on Wednesday, the Cats looked to match that success against Monterrey Tech.

Kentucky was a lot bigger across the board in this one, and it was a great start for the Cats as they quickly built a comfortable lead.

The first half was yet another solid defensive performance as they went into the break with a 53-21 lead.

The second half was more of the same as Kentucky just completely outmatched their opponent.

Kentucky was able to get out in transition getting easy baskets as their stout defense was leading to easy offense.

After another 40-minutes of dominating basketball, the Cats were able to come away with a 102-40 victory and move to 2-0 in their Bahamas trip.

Things to know

Chris Livingston continues to impress

Livingston was one of the bright spots for me in Game 1 and that continued in Game 2

While he was impressive offensively, it was his defense that stood out to me. Livingston was getting in passing lanes creating steals and using his length to contest shots making it difficult for Monterrey Tech to get a clean look.

He was also not afraid to hit the glass and bring down rebounds leading to transition opportunities.

Livingston finished the game with 14 points, 10 rebounds, three steals, two assists, and a block.

And another big shoutout to Adou Thiero, who got the start tonight and finished with 13 points (5-7 shooting), six boards and two assists. He’s looking more and more like a player ready to earn minutes in Year 1.

Daimion Collins is a different player

Collins was the story of the first game with his all-around great outing and highlight dunks.

I was interested to see how he would come out in Game 2 to see if he had the same intensity.

Well, the answer to that is yes.

Collins looks like a completely different player on the floor. He is stronger and has a confidence about him that we did not see last year.

The shot blocking ability that Collins provides was already there. Now, throw in a more polished offensive game, and it will be hard to keep him off the floor.

Collins finished with 10 points, five rebounds (four offensive), and two blocks.

Sahvir Wheeler bounces back

I wouldn’t say that Wheeler played bad in the game on Wednesday night, but he had some bad turnovers and seemed a little out of control at times.

However, in this one Wheeler was much more in control with the ball getting into the lane and finding his teammates in positions to score or scoring himself.

After a small struggle in Game 1, it was nice to see him bounce back in this one finishing with 14 points, 10 assists, and two steals. Great to see from the veteran guard.

Jacob Toppin struggles offensively

On Wednesday, Toppin wasn’t aggressive on the offensive end but made several highlight defensive plays with some massive blocks.

It was still a bit of a struggle for Toppin early on in game two as he couldn’t get a shot to fall.

Down the stretch, Toppin started looking for his offense and was having a lot more success ending the game on a much more positive note. He finished with 12 points on 5-12 shooting and added 11 rebounds, four blocks, and an assist.

However, we still need to see Toppin come out aggressive from the tip and put together a complete game. Thankfully, it is only August.

Hopefully, we will see a game this weekend where Toppin turns it on offensively and shows what we all should expect to see from him this season.

This team could be a great free-throw shooting team

In Game 1, the Cats were excellent from the free throw line as they went 13-14 (92.9%) from the line.

That carried over into Game 2 as the Cats went 15-19 from the charity stripe.

Kentucky has had some struggles from the line in the Calipari era, but early on it looks like this could be one of his better shooting teams when they get to the line.

Now, let’s celebrate Kentucky’s 2-0 start in the Bahamas!