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Kentucky Player Previews: Perry Stevenson

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We took a little break with these, in part because the season started, and now we are ready to return with our man with the arms that dont end, Perry Stevenson. Most of Perry’s first year at UK was spent looking a bit lost, blocking shots and inspiring debates about what his nickname should be. There were a group of individuals adamant that he should be called “Pac Man”, mostly due to Martin Newton’s always clever insights. Then an internet group began the notion of calling him “Pogo”, a name that made very little sense but was the favorite of Dungeons and Dragons players everywhere. With neither of those names satisfactory, we here at Kentucky Sports Radio began simply calling him “Turd Ferguson” (its a funny name) and went on with it.

While Perry’s first year didnt go exactly as planned, mainly due to the fact that he was slow to learn the defense and was behind the immovable force known as Sheray Thomas, expectations are much higher for the big guy this year. Simply put, even though the Coury Flurry is the starter at this point, UK will play against athletes in the SEC that he simply cannot guard. Stevenson with his length and athleticism will be crucial for success and it is imperative that he improve his game. On offense at this point, Turd still looks like a man uncomfortable with his position. He does not take the ball strong to the basket and has found himself the recipient of a number of blocked shots throughout the season. In fact, for Turd, it would likely be helpful if there was a +/- block shots, comparing the amount he gives to the amount he receives, as the numbers are often close. On defense, he has improved but still too often finds himself out of position and unable to offer great help-side defense. This must improve, especially if Billy Clyde’s pressure D remains the strategy of choice.

As we move into his Sophomore season, on the court improvement is the hope of all Cats fans for Perry Stevenson. But we also hope that he can somehow put on some weight. He is listed at 6’9″ 193 which led Kige Ramsey to suggest that Perry Stevenson has the aneroxic. Bono has considered creating another Live Aid to “Feed Perry Stevenson…..Let Him Know its Christmas Time…” as his thin frame is tough to look at on a daily basis. He is however growing a nice goatee which helps with his toughness, but until Perry can find a way not to look like a Bosnian refugee, it will be tough to see him dominating on the low post. Nevertheless, the future does look bright for Perry….he is a great shot blocker, is extremely quick and can hit a jump shot from time to time. He will play a lot this year, and hopefully the Big Blue Nation’s faith in him will be rewarded.

Other Kentucky Sports Radio views…..

INTERN:

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Although his freshman campaign was peppered with the occasional cameo in the starting lineup, Perry Stevenson still managed to slip through the cracks…luckily, Mark Coury happened to be standing by and immeditately called the fire department. It was a life-altering episode for the only skinny person in the state of Louisiana, and hevowed that his fruit roll-up frame of his would not keep him off the court, or, betwixt the cracks this season. Stevenson’s rookie year was quite atypical. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a player generate so much excitement and frustration in the same play. You marveled at the limitless boundaries of his athleticism, like when he recorded 7 blocks agaisnt Miami in his first career start. But at the same time,you’re overcome with bewilderment when he’s unable to finish near the rim with his go-go gadget arms. He’s raw. A work in progress. The Air Up There. Neon Budoux sans 150lbs. But that’s what gets us excited. We see the freakish potential, and we know what it can do for this team. But it’s a work in progress, and there are simply certain things he’ll never be able to bring to the table (a meal). So I’ll continue to watch Stevenson with bated breath, waiting for the day it all clicks into place and he starts tea-bagging Duke Crews on a regular basis.”But I’m going hungryyyyy, (he’s goin hungryyyy…)” Seriously Tubby, could you not spare ONE Rafferty’s coupon?

MOSLEY:

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Ah, Perry Stevenson–the Kate Bosworth of Kentucky basketball. But just because he’s the Kate Bosworth doesn’t mean that Kentucky hasn’t also had a Nicole Richie, a Kate Moss, and some form of the Olsen Twins. No, Perry just joins the list of Kentucky players past and present who have shown up in Lexington just a tad on the light side. Not convinced? Think Tayshaun Prince as a freshman. How about Jules Camara? Want to go a little further back? How’s Cedric Jenkins at 6’11 185lbs. strike you? Still not enough? Walter McCartey his freshman year as a Prop 48 casualty? Thin, and for good measure let’s throw in a dash of Andre Riddick at 6’9 and 190–the exact same height and alleged weight of our beloved Purry (as pronounced in Hazard). The point I’m trying to make (am I really making a point?) is that while I would love to see Stevenson block balls back to the Bayou at acomfortable 250 lbs, it isn’t necessarily a requirement for him to be an impactful player on this year’s squad. Take those names listed above. Each was a pretty solid player during their time as a Wildcat, even when they weren’t exactly oozing nougat out their ears. Here’s hoping P-Steve can do the same. Prediction: Stevenson starts the majority ofthis season’s games and provides the Cats with some nice interior defense. His rebound average will not be as high as we would hope, but by mid-season he starts to find himself in the offense and begins to solidly contribute. Look for him to average around 7ppg and 4.5 rpg once SEC play begins. Also, thanks to his length, slender build, and grace, Perry will become a male runway supermodel following his years inLexington. This will require him to live in Paris (France, not KY) where he tries to pull double duty as a basketball player. However, his performance will decline as he will never be allowed to eat and will be forced to take up smoking by his fashion“handlers”–they are a sinister lot.

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TOMLIN:

If you’re Perry Stevenson, you go to sleep at night in your specially-made 6’9″ bed (Ikea Big & Tall, $129.99) and wish upon a star that every day could be your Midnight Madness of your freshman year. Remember how excited we all were? It was like he’d been injected with some sort of adrenaline potion (Ikea Adrenaline & Magic Potions, $59.99). Hubby raved. We all did fist bumps. Sheboygan, Wisconsin, for some reason, named a day after him. He found that dollar lying on the ground. And the President called. He looked like the real deal.

But here’s the thing: Stevenson, to me, is the biggest question mark I have on this team. I’m usually pretty astute with pinpointing the players, as you’ve no doubt seen from my collection of UK biographical essays such as “Ramel Bradley Has Black Hair,” “Jared Carter is Really Tall for a White Person,” and “Joe Crawford Wears White Shoes,” all available in hardcover from Random House. And I’m not a gambling man, outside of craps, blackjack, keno, bumfighting and Thai “chop poker” — but if I were, I wouldn’t put money on Stevenson yet. Sure, he swatted all those blocks against Miami-Ohio, proved that he could thrive in tournaments which take place in tropical American archipelagos, and came out gunning against the ‘Heels; but by the end of last year we needed him to wear a bell if we wanted to find him.

So since there’s a lot we don’t know yet about Admiral Perry, let’s tick off what we do know about him. He hails from Lafayette, Louisiana — which means he’s probably partial to spicy foods, enjoyed touring broadway shows at the Heymann Center, and enjoyed the fine network programming provided by Lafayette’s ABC affiliate KATC-TV. His nickname at Northside High School was “Swat,” and played under high school coach Rick LaBato, who favors the “Joe Dumars style,” which I assume these days means that all the players are, like Dumars, on the Board of Directors of First Michigan Bank.

But as far as how he’s going to do as a Cat, that’s up to Stevenson. He’s not the ballyhooed freshman he was in the first half of last season, and as long as we’re using the word “ballyhooed,” it should be pointed out that a new crop of ballyhooed players has come in behind him, leaving him in the traditional sophomore position of determining his own fate (as Meeks clearly seems ready to do). I don’t envy him, nor should you. But he has an opportunity if he can impress our new skipper and take advantage of the fresh chance we’ve seen Mark Coury begin to fully embrace. So here’s to you, Mr. Stevenson. Sure, there’s a college and pro career riding on how you perform, but let’s be honest — your biggest crossroads is right now, where you can determine whether you are used by the writers of this blog as a standard comparison to future players who we’ll love — or a punch line. You don’t have a terribly ridiculous moustache yet, and that’s a big plus for the former — so you’re doing okay so far. And good luck. We’re all counting on you.

Article written by Matt Jones