Well, Big Blue Nation, four straight days of Kentucky Basketball starts tonight. I’m excited, we’re all excited, so let’s get to it.
The main things I personally got out of the last two Bahamas trips were the signs of team chemistry, different rotations, and Cal just letting the guys play and figuring it out on the court. I think that’s smart because at the end of the day, these four games don’t really matter.
Here’s a few players to look out for in the next 4 days:
I’m eager to see the play of Oscar and how he adjusts to this new team. We have way more depth and way more talent (on paper), which means Big O doesn’t have to carry as much of a load as he did last year. Oscar clearly showed us what he is capable of in regards to what he personally can do on the court, but I am curious to see how much our team can succeed and utilize Oscar even as a “decoy.” You can’t ignore him in the paint, so I’m excited to see how many doors that opens for others to thrive.
The former Texas Gatorade Player of the Year has a full season and offseason under his belt and we are all excited to see what he is going to showcase this year. The dude is going to 100% be the most athletic player on the court in every game we play and we haven’t really seen the best version of him yet. If we can get him to play more off the dribble and expand that jump shot? That’s an absolute problem for every opponent.
I said Damion is the most athletic player on the court and I think he is, by a very slim margin. Jacob Toppin is inches behind him, but that’s a debate for another time. Toppin will be playing the 4 a lot this season, which is great because the dude is absolutely shredded. He will be guarding grown professionals tomorrow, so this will be a good test for his defensive status down low. I am also eager to see how much he has expanded his shooting and dribbling. Similar to Damion, if he can play off the dribble more, on top of being an athletic freak, that is also another major problem for opponents.
The New Pieces
We all know how much upside Chris Livingston and Cason Wallace have. There will be a better idea of what these guys are going to do for our team after the trip. We’ve heard people rave about Cason’s sticky defense and Livingston being a mismatch for every 3 guard in the country all summer long. Antonio Reeves averaged 19 PPG and has proven he can score at the collegiate level time and time again. CJ Fredrick is making his much anticipated debut. I can’t wait to see how these guys gel and start the path to number nine.