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Chin Coleman stresses importance of the chemistry UK is building this week

Building chemistry on and off the court now will make a difference come March.

NCAA Basketball: Missouri at Kentucky Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

The Kentucky Wildcats are 2-0 after their first two preseason games in the Bahamas after back-to-back blowout wins.

Some of Kentucky’s most successful seasons under John Calipari have come after a preseason trip to the Bahamas giving the team extra time to build chemistry both on and off the court.

The hope is that will be the case for the 2022-23 Cats.

Kentucky is not only building chemistry on the court, but they are spending time together off the court which could be the difference when March rolls around.

After the win over Monterrey Tec on Thursday, assistant coach Chin Coleman talked about the importance of building chemistry during this trip to help when the games start to count.

“This is what it’s all about. The camaraderie,” Coleman told Kentucky Sports Radio. “We’ve got guys going fishing tomorrow, we’ve got guys going to the water park tomorrow. We’ve got guys making sandcastles. That’s how you win basketball games. The game is won before it’s even played.

“If you win your locker room and your guys are connected...we talk about connectivity, it’s won off the court, so the stuff that these guys are doing, it’s so invaluable to our season that we’re happy we get a chance to come down here and bond and build sandcastles and get me on a picture of a shirt.

“This is the stuff that wins basketball games, so we’re taking advantage of this opportunity.”

In an interview with Kentucky Sports Radio, Jacob Toppin talked about the atmosphere around the team and how connected they already are.

“The atmosphere is amazing. We all love each other. We’re all brothers,” Toppin said. “Even when we have disagreements, we don’t let it nag on. We figure out what we need to do to help each other. I like this group a lot, because everyone’s locked in. Everyone’s talking to each other. Everyone’s trying to make each other better, so that’s a big part of success.”

Combine the chemistry that this team already has with so many returning players with the extra preseason prep they are getting, and this could be another special season following a Bahamas trip.