The second in our series of Kentucky basketball player previews involves another player with a soft spot in my heart, “The Future”, Bobby Perry. When I was finishing up my time in law school, Bobby Perry was a senior in high school in Durham, NC. After Perry committed to UK, my buddy Brett Glass and I would occasionally go watch his high school games, to see what this new Kentucky stud was really like. And immediately I was hooked. It was clear Perry was student of the game and a class act. He is likely the only player on a Division I roster who had his brother show up at his games reading books on Che Guevara, which Bobby would then come comment on after the game. From the outset, you could tell Bobby was a different type of kid and I have always pulled for him.
Bobby’s time at UK has been a roller coaster ride. He has gone from the guy who cant make a layup to the guy who drops 25 on Connecticut. He has been the guy who could not buy a three pointer to the most consistent three point shooter on the team. He has become Tubby Smith’s most trusted player, and the one individual that you can GUARANTEE you will find on the floor at the end of important games. IF you were to make a mold of a Tubby Smith type player, you would make it in the form of Perry…..hard working, self-sacrificing, team-oriented, full of energy and ready to take a charge in the breakfast buffet line.
This is an important year for Perry’s legacy. He will likely start all year and probably at his more natural position, at small forward. Much is being expected of him thanks to his end-of-the season performance and he likely will be called on to provide much more scoring. The fans have once again embraced Perry and this season will determine if he becomes a Chuck Hayes-like player who is loved by the fanbase for the type of play he gives on the court and the type of person he is off. I expect big things from Perry, and him to have a great senior season. He is the stable rock on the team and his role as team leader may be the most important position anyone at UK will have this year. When the chips are down, Bobby has to be the guy to steer the ship (mixing analogies is my thing) and it is my belief that he will.
And then of course, you have these opinions….
Mosley: I think that my timeline of feelings on Bobby Perry are likely to be very similar to my thoughts on the future 1st ex-Mrs. Mosley five years post divorce: It all started out with a lot of excitement which led to heightened expectations that could never be met. Then, for a long time there was hatred and some crying. Now, I no longer love her, but am able to appreciate her as a person thanks to the way she treats the kids. Bobby’s the same way, he came inwith some nice expectations as someone we “stole” off of Tobacco Road and managed to provide some nice minutes early. Then, he proceeded to attend the JaredPrickett School of Lay-up Missing and got into my doghouse. Finally, I’ve come to respect him for whathe is: a very solid and heady basketball player whose consistency holds the team together this season. Bobby Perry is not the basketball player who, at leastuntil mid-year last year, didn’t hit a three (at least it seemed that way) and could only clang long-rangersoff the back of the rim, but neither is he the guy whoscored 45 and 50 points respectively in two NCAAtourney games (I may be off on the point totals, I’llhave to check). He will be somewhere in the middleaveraging about 9 and 4.5 a game and occasionally going off for 20. More importantly, he’ll make good decisions, provide good D, and give great effort. The move to 3 for him will be a Godsend for both him andthe team. So remember, don’t hate on Perry too much,but don’t get too hyped, and when he gets an under the basket lay-in stuffed (he averaged 6.2 of these a game his sophomore year) just yell, in your best Hank Hill voice, “Dang it, Bobby!,” and all will be well
Intern: Bobby Perry used to strike me as the kind of guy you sat next to inAlgebra II: he came early, stayed late, shot you a look of “you wish”when you tried to glance at his test, and would remind the teacher ofthe homework assignment when it appeared they’d forgotten about it.And that moustache; oh that moustache. In short, he was the AnthonyMichael Hall of the team. He was easy fan-fodder, and re-wrote therecord books in the missed lay-up column. Then, last March, Perryfought back. Displaying out-of-nowhere athleticism and a nose for thebasket, Perry dazzled unsuspecting players and fans alike. His playeven prompted CBSSportsline to proclaim him a possible early-entrantinto the NBA Draft, eliciting a seismic roar of laughter from Wildcatfans, and probably Perry himself. Well I hate to tell you Bob, but nowyou’ve got expectations. You’ve proven you can hoop it up with the bigboys, and now you have a whole season to back it up.
Tomlin: Stepping onto the hallowed soil of Cawood’s Court for the first time in 2003 with only a well-groomed moustache and a dream, dashing flyboy Bobby Perry looked better-suited to confounding Jerry at every turn in his trusty Sopwith Camel than assuming a power forward position left to him by fan favorite Chuck Hayes. The question on everyone’s mind at that time — outside of the obvious “Could this boy ever hope to make Ravi Moss cry as much as Chuck could?” — was “This kid’s from Durham? What’s the catch?” Indeed, something nefarious did seem at hand. But as the North Carolina defector landed 25 points against UAB in the 2006 tourney, the Big Blue Nation’s fears that Perry was leaking the playbook to Chapel Hill disappeared almost as quickly as that beautiful moustache. Perry has come a long way from being what seemed like Tubby Smith’s mysterious BFF (4-eva! LYLAS!) to the valued ACE bandage which has alternately stopped massive bleeding and served to strengthen the fractured bones of disorganized UK teams of the past two years. His fan base undoubtedly grew larger when it was revealed that it was in fact Bobby Perry’s Fantom X8 Keyboard Station which was supplying the backbeats for raps by Ramel Bradley (who rapped about growing up in Brooklyn), Joe Crawford (who rapped about being mistaken for Darius Rucker), and Shagari Alleyne (who rapped about how much it hurt when he ran face-first into the overhead movie marquee at the Bronx’s Cinemark Cinema 22). When all is said and done, this Bobby of all trades will be remembered not only for the valuable time served to the annals of University of Kentucky Fandom, but the way he took a bunch of wayward street toughs and taught them that music can change the world. Oh, and also that moustache.
Turkey Hunter: In the history of the role playing Bobby, a couple of names stand out: Bobby Ewing, Bobby Hill, and Bobby Brady to name a few. Each brought something to the table that made their show just a little bit better while always managing to do nothing spectacular. Although none could stand alone as a superstar, each functioned well in an ensemble cast providing moments of talent well beyond what one would expect. Well gentlemen, you can add one more name to that list: Bobby Perry, also known as the “the Future”. Now a lot of people ask: why is Bobby nicknamed “the Future”? Well, it stems from a not so interesting story that I will go ahead and share anyways. 2 seasons ago, I was attempting to watch a UK game at the residence of my then girlfriend. Her roommate, a plus size lass who was equal parts heavy and ugly, came into the viewing room to take on a US weekly crossword and put down a couple of modified smores(instead of gram crackers she substituted ego waffles). A couple of bites in, she started getting excited at a level usually reserved for the sound of an approaching Schwan’s truck. What could it be? Had she pulled a muscle in her tongue? Had she stumbled upon some rogue M&M’s in the couch cushin? No, this excitement was all for one Bobby Perry who had justmade his way to the scorer’s table. Now, this reaction left me dumbfounded. Bobby is a clean cut young man and I am sure he has no problem with the ladies- but honestly, her reaction made the kids outside TRL look like Terri Schiavo on Quaaludes. I asked her, “what gives”? Her only response: “he is the Future”. I don’t know what that meant exactly. I think she may have been equating him to Dippin’ Dots, the Ice Cream of the Future (which debuted at the former Opryland in 1988) as something great that had already arrived, I’m not sure. But believe me, her eyes lit up faster than the chancellor’s wife at Vandy. She loved the way he played, the way he looked- everything. And thus, out of her excitement, a nickname was born. So, now there are two remarkable traits I am left with when thinking back to my ex’s Shrek of a roommate: 1. her incredible FUPA/gunt. 2. her designation of Bobby Perry as “the Future”. And now you know this.