Aug. 12—Adou Thiero came to the University of Kentucky as a project, a player who would take time to develop.
The freshman is showing in two exhibition games anyway that he could be going from project to projected.
Thiero had big moments in both halves as Kentucky dismantled Tec de Monterrey 102-40 in the second night of Big Blue Bahamas on Thursday at the Baha Mar Resort.
He drove for baskets and connected on a 3-pointer in the second half, then he went way up for a putback. He had 13 points, six rebounds, two assists and a block in 21 minutes.
Thiero was one of seven Wildcats scoring in double figures. Sahvir Wheeler and Chris Livingston each led UK with 14 points. Wheeler also had 10 assists for a double-double, including a beauty lob pass that found Livingston for an easy dunk. Livingston also had 10 rebounds. Oscar Tshiebwe also logged a double-double with 10 points, 14 rebounds.
Jacob Toppin also had a double-double with 12 points, 11 rebounds and four blocked shots. Toppin made 2-of-5 from 3-point range.
Thiero was one of the starting five for the game, along with Antonio Reeves and point guard Wheeler. That small lineup proved to be a good move for the second game coach for Chin Coleman. UK was up 53-21 at the half as it continued to show it can get points in a lot of different ways.
Nothing let up in the second half. Kentucky was ahead 98-33 with three minutes left in the game.
UK made 40-of-75 from the floor for 53%. UK hit 15-of-19 free throws and outrebounded TM 65-22.
"Adou is playing with a ton of passion," Coleman said. "Some of the freshmen that come here are a little different, the guys we have here are a little different."
The Wildcats return to the Baha Mar Grand Ballroom court on Saturday against Carleton University (Canada). That game will tip at 5 p.m. on the SEC Network. They will be off Friday.
"It's very important," Coleman said of a fun day for the team. "We've got guys going to the water park, we've got guys building sand castles, we've got guys going fishing."