Sidelines with John Clay

Liveblog: Kentucky-Bahamas Select basketball exhibition

Kentucky Wildcats forward Reid Travis (22) passed the ball during practice Wednesday at the Joe Craft Center in Lexington.
Kentucky Wildcats forward Reid Travis (22) passed the ball during practice Wednesday at the Joe Craft Center in Lexington. aslitz@herald-leader.com

The Kentucky basketball team starts its four-game exhibition series in the Bahamas on Wednesday night. First up is the Bahamian Select Team. Tip-off is 7 p.m. on the SEC Network.

Check here for live updates with commentary. I’ll be checking the comment section with the stories, plus Twitter. You can follow me on Twitter at @johnclayiv. Jerry Tipton is in the Bahamas. You can follow him at @jerrytipton.

Final - Kentucky 85, Bahamas 61

Star of the game was Nick Richards. Tyler Herro looked good. Keldon Johnson showed flashes. Defense much better in second half. Reid Travis struggled for the most part. I’ll have three takeaways on the blog shortly.

2H - 4:53 - Kentucky 77, Bahamas 57

UK has blown it open in the Bahamas. Brad Calipari bounced home a three-pointer from the left corner. (Think Dakich’s rooting caused the ball to bounce in.) Tyler Herro threw down a jam off a fast break. UK’s defense has been much better in the second half.

2H- 7:25 - Kentucky 66, Bahamas 53

Reid Travis has finally put things into gear, but the graduate transfer has looked uncomfortable most of the night. Again, it’s early. It’s August. It’s the first exhibition game. And Travis is making an adjustment to a different team with a different system and different teammates. In the last segment, the former Stanford forward started to show what he can do around the rim.

2H - 10:56 - Kentucky 58, Bahamas 49

Cats are on a 13-4 run. Nick Richards now up to 18 points. Still a fourth of the game to go, but he’s the star of this game for the team in blue, er, black. According to the TV crew, UK is 1-of-15 from three-point range.

2H - 13:46 - Kentucky 49, Bahamas 45

PJ Washington looks more comfortable this half, so far. By the way, if you missed it, SEC Network analyst Chris Doerring picked the UK football team to go 8-4 this season.

2H - 15:30 - Kentucky 45, Bahamas 44

The official home team took the lead 44-43 at the 16:43 mark. Cats have just one field goal so far this half, that coming from Tyler Herro, who has 10 points.

2H - 18:29 - Tied at 42

Bahamas opens second half with a 7-0 run to tie the score. Kentucky is now 1-of-12 from three-point range. Remember, John Calipari said his team could lose three of the four games it plays on this Bahamas trip.

Halftime - Kentucky 42, Bahamas 35

After jumping to a 13-0 early lead, the Cats are up seven at the half. Nick Richards had a strong first half. After missing a couple of early shots, Tyler Herro found his range. Ashton Hagans made a couple of nice defensive plays. UK’s defense was spotty at best, which was predictable considering this is August and the first exhibition game.

ESPN analyst Dan Dakich is really pushing the Draymond Green comparison for PJ Washington. (Dakich also took issue with one of my tweets in the first half.)

By the way, here’s my column about the college basketball rule changes announced today.

1H - 3:59 - Kentucky 35, Bahamas 29

Freshman guard Ashton Hagans was the star of that segment. Hagans made a pair of back-to-back steals and scored on a fast break off one of them. He also scored off an offensive rebound and baseline drive. Tyler Herro hit a nice pull-up jumper in transition. Nick Richards leads UK with 14 points.

1H - 7:54 - Kentucky 25, Bahamas 22

Aas Seth Greenberg is pointing out on the broadcast, Kentucky not playing very good defense. The Bahamas team has cut the lead to three after falling behind 13-0 early in the game. Sorry, no access to a box score, so don’t have stats at this point off television.

1H - 13:49 - Kentucky 19, Bahamas 11

Nick Richards was the star of the first segment. The sophomore center scored 10 points. He looked much more confident offensively around the basket. He even sank a pair of free throws. The Cats jumped to a 13-0 lead, but the Bahamas team has settled down and outscored the Cats 11-6 leading into the first TV timeout.

Here are some links to get you ready:

Kentucky basketball makes a winning first impression

Kentucky basketball players get lesson in servant leadership

Five-star basketball recruit Khalil Whitney commits to Kentucky

NCAA announces sweeping reforms to college basketball

Kentucky basketball barely in Top 25?

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