Kentucky basketball has begun practicing, and that means that the offseason is starting to fly by. The regular season is still months away, but it’ll be here before we know it.
While we await the return of actual Kentucky Wildcats Basketball, there’s plenty to look out for until then. From recruiting events, to overseas exhibition trips, to classes starting, there’s plenty of stuff to keep up with that’ll hold you over.
Here are some events and dates to keep track of for the rest of the offseason.
John Calipari has been flooding the NBA Summer League with talent for the better part of a decade now. This year is no exception. UK will be represented by 15 former Wildcats this summer, including four of the Wildcats that went pro this year, with the only exception being Jarred Vanderbilt as he recovers from his ankle injury.
The Sacramento and Utah Summer Leagues are taking place right now with a limited number of Cats in them The real fun begins when the Las Vegas Summer League begins with all 30 teams in action.
The games continue Thursday and the championship will be played on July 17, potentially giving us over two weeks of former Wildcats on the court. A complete schedule of summer league games can be found here.
In the midst of the summer league is the Peach Jam from, the most well-known high school summer basketball event in the country. This will be a hotly-debated one, as while the NCAA considers revising AAU event rules to prevent coaches from being able to attend the Peach Jam, they’ll still be at this one. Some of the top 2019 prospects in the country will be on display in North Augusta, South Carolina, from July 11-15.
Among the names expected to be taking part are Tyrese Maxey (commit), DJ Jeffries (commit), James Wiseman, Vernon Carey, Cole Anthony and Keion Brooks. Most of UK’s 2019 recruiting class is going to be Nike guys in action at this event.
Adidas Gauntlet Finale
Another event taking place the week of the Peach Jam is the Adidas Gauntlet Finale in New York City from July 12-15. Adidas doesn’t have a lot of UK recruits this year, but they do have Matthew Hurt, a top-five player that John Calipari is working hard to get, even though Kansas has a nice lead in this race.
Recent Adidas guys to choose Kentucky include Ashton Hagans, Immanuel Quickley, and EJ Montgomery.
Under Armour Finals
While most of the UK recruits are on the Nike circuit playing in the Peach Jam, several targets will be playing in the under Armour Finals on July 25 in Las Vegas. Among the players expected to take part are Scottie Lewis, Bryan Antoine, Aidan Igiehon, KyKy Tandy and RJ Hampton.
Of the group, Lewis is the only one UK seems to be in good shape for as the summer rolls on. Hampton is a Class of 2020 recruit that could move into the 2019 class.
The Bahamas tour
The first look we’ll get of Kentucky playing in-game basketball, the Wildcats will play exhibition games in Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas, from Aug. 8-12. Here’s a list of those exhibitions.
- vs. Bahamas National Team, Aug. 8
- vs. San Lorenzo De Almagro, Aug. 9
- vs. Mega Bemax, Aug. 11
- vs. Team Toronto, Aug. 12
All these games will be played at the Atlantis Imperial Arena. The John Calipari Fantasy Camp will also be in the Bahamas from Aug. 10-12.
Classes begin at the end of August for UK, and then things start to get real.
Big Blue Madness
Big Blue Madness, usually in the middle of October, as the entire team gets introduced to a jam-packed Rupp Arena crowd. We also get to meet the women’s basketball team and watch Matthew Mitchell do another ridiculous dance.
Then comes the Blue-White scrimmage, followed by a pair of exhibition games (opponents TBD) that will be the final preparation steps before what might be the biggest Game 1 in college basketball history. Speaking of that...
Game 1 vs. Duke
Essentially a consensus two of the top three teams in the country will face off to tip off the college basketball season. By the time we get to this game, it may be No. 1 vs. No. 2. It’s quite the prize for the waiting game we have to play this offseason.
Nov. 6 cannot get here fast enough.
Here’s look at the rest of the confirmed UK regular season non-conference games:
- Nov. 6: Duke at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis (State Farm Champions Classic)
- Nov. 28: Monmouth at Rupp Arena
- Dec. 1: UNCG at Rupp Arena
- Dec. 8: Seton Hall at Madison Square Garden, New York (Citi Hoops Classic)
- Dec. 15: Utah at Rupp Arena
- Dec. 22: North Carolina at United Center, Chicago (CBS Sports Classic)
- Jan. 26: Kansas at Rupp Arena (SEC/Big 12 Challenge)