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Media Day Glory

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It was a very exciting Media Day at UK as the Cats were brought out in front of the masses (if by masses you mean dorky, slightly obese sportswriters interspersed with some attractive female television reporters). The undoubted star of Media Day was Patrick Patterson who had a crowd approximately 10 deep during the entire proceeding. There is no doubt that all the attention, at least in the early stages of the season, will be on Patrick and his role as the newest potential star of UK basketball land. I interviewed all 17 (yes 17) members of the team and will be putting these interviews up over the course of the next week. But until then, here are some tidbits that I found most interesting……

(1) Gillispie said no one on the team has a spot reserved for them, no matter what they have accomplished in the past. “IF you earn it, you get it. Thats the way our country was built and this is how it works on this team too. We are going to be a tough, great conditioned, close, family-oriented team. And I am excited about it.”

(2) Gillispie noted that the team is a bit different than he thought. “I think the guys are tougher than I thought and have a little more physical ability as well.”

(3) Gillispie also is impressed with the Freshman in many ways. “Patrick is well-coached and can do a little bit of everything. Mike is working hard and improving, AJ is a great athlete and Alex is a very good scorer.” He did not however that there is room for improvement. “We have 3 very mature freshmen….very mature.” Later he said with a smile, “stay around here a bit and you can figure out the other one.”

(4) When asked if some have overlooked Jodie Meeks, Gillispie replied, “I sure havent. We havent overlooked him at all. His physical abilities are great, he works hard and has improved his shot. We wont overlook him one bit.”

(5) Explaining his philosophy on scheduling and meeting challenges, “I’m not afraid to swing and miss. We will be respectful of everyone, but not afraid. You play the best to be the best.”

(6) A consistent theme in the player interviews was the closeness of the team and the new sense of camraderie amongst the guys. Michael Porter said, “the team is chemistry is great. We have had to rely on each other a lot since the change in coaches and the new system starting. We have all gotten so much closer, its great.”

(7) Mark Coury loves his nickname. “I know that people call me the Coury Flurry….I like it…reminds me of McDonalds.”

(8) Alex Legion is big into politics. “People dont know this but I love politics. I want to get into political work and help end economic inequality. My sister is a state representative and she has helped me a lot.” He says he is a big supporter of Barack Obama. “I like him and all that he stands for.” “I wish I could be more involved with things, but I am really busy. I attended a protest the other day, but generally its just school and basketball.”

(9) Derrick Jasper says that he is ready to shoot the ball much more. “Last year I really never shot…..people dont have to worry about that this year….I will shoot it.”

(10) The resident colorful personality when Smooth is gone….try walk-on Matt Schnerbenske. The kid is vivacious and ready to talk and entertain. He also knows his hoops. “The players are all getting better. I love being around them and watching their talents. Maybe one day I will get on the court….that is my dream.”

(11) Mark Krebs will be out 6-8 weeks with a foot injury. He said to expect big things this year. “We may not win every game this year, but we will try and no one will out work us.”

(12) Ramel Bradley was great as always. He was best when talking about his mentoring role. “I want my legacy at Kentucky to be that I led the newest group of great UK players. I have to be the leader by example….you know go to class, work hard, be on time, be respectful. These kids can get out of hand….but I try and help the youngsters,” he said with a laugh.

(13) Boot Camp was all the talk as well. Perry Stevenson said, “I dont know what anyone else will say, but I know this….it will make a man out of you.”

(14) We find out that Mike Williams actually wants to go by his real name Mirakinyo. He also loves being at UK. “It is the best. I am loving it….practice is fun, everyone has energy and I am getting better. I cant ask for anything more.”

(15) Ramel broke down scouting reports on all the Freshmen:
Patrick — “Runs the floor well….very strong…and tries to get after every shot. The real deal”
Alex — “Great shooter and can score in bunches.”
AJ — “Very athletic….can jump out of the gym….amazing what he can do sometimes.”
Mirakinyo — “very physical….come in the lane and he will mess you up.”

All in all a great event. There will be MUCH more through the week, but I dont want to waste it all tonight with Madness coming. The blog starts at 8:30 or so and will be updated continuously. Check it out………

Article written by Matt Jones