By LARRY VAUGHT
The Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas might have lost power late in the first half of Kentucky’s game Thursday night, but that didn’t diminish the punch the Cats had on the court.
Behind 22 points by new crowd favorite Tyler Herro, Kentucky pulled away in the final 10 minutes to beat San Lorenzen — a pro team from Argentina — 91-68 for its second straight exhibition game win.
“There are players and there are basketball players. We have basketball players this year. A lot of them,” former UK standout Rex Chapman tweeted while watching John Calipari’s team play.
Herro was 7-for-10 from the field, including 4-for-5 from 3point range, and 4-for-5 from the foul line. He also had two rebounds and two assists. He has 39 points in two games now in the Bahamas.
“The kid is fearless,” SEC Network analyst Dan Dakich said.
“Jeff Shepherd is a good comparison (for Herro) but he has to play better defense,” SEC Network analyst Seth Greenberg said. “He has to be able to guard. On the offensive end, though, he can play.”
Herro hit a 3 late in the first half off a fast-break assist from Quade Green that Dakich really liked.
“That good point guard play. Push it, find the guy on fire. Sounds simple but so many guys can’t do it,” Dakich said.
That’s when the lights went out. The game was finally stopped and started back in the second half thanks to a generator. However, the SEC Network was not on the air and neither was the UK Radio Network. Kentucky Sports Radio’s Matt Jones did a live periscope that enabled thousands of UK fans to watch until the power came back on for the SEC Network to get back on air.
Kentucky had five other players — P.J. Washington (15), Keldon Johnson (13), Reid Travis (11), Nick Richards (10) and Green (10) — in double figures. Freshman Immanuel Quickley had six points, seven rebounds and five assists while Ashton Hagans, another freshman guard, had four points and three rebounds. (E.J. Montgomery and Jemarl Baker did not play because of injuries).
It was the second straight impressive game for Richards, who was basically a non-factor the last two months of last season for UK.
“That was a big time move by Richards. Great footwork. Can really tell (assistant) coach (Kenny) Payne and his individual improvement in year two has Richards playing so much more comfortable,” Mercer County coach Josh Hamlin, a friend, told me after Richards scored on a spin move inside.