When I look back on the Kentucky-Tennessee game from 2009, I wont remember the breakout performance for Darius Miller, the “violent cuts” of Jodie Meeks or even the Bruce Pearl postgame in which he called the low point of his time in Knoxville. No, I will remember the moment that Billy Clyde “went to Jared.” Jared Carter…..Mr O’Charleys…..charter member of the Carter/Coury/Krebs UK Cafeteria Wrecking Crew. He has been here for four years, but it seems like time has just flown by. I still remember the first time I saw Jared, playing for Scott County High School, in the Christmas tournament at Lexington Catholic. At that point there were starting to be whispers that Kentucky was considering an offer, but at that point was just in evaluation mode. Then, UNC and Illinois make the national championship game, their players split for the NBA….roster spots open up and they offer Jared. UK quickly follows suit (to prevent another “Chris Lofton” moment) and Jared becomes a Cat.
Since then, there have been ups and downs….moments of promise, followed by zero points in the Blue-White Game. But through it all I have liked Jared, probably because he seems as if he is a likeable guy. He takes things in stride, enjoys his loaded potato soup and is as good and as positive a teammate as anyone not named Dwight Perry on the team. Thus with one minute to go as Billy Clyde called timeout to put in the players for that crucial last minute, going to Jared had to seem obvious. And Clyde was rewarded with the “UP AND UNDER MOVE HEARD ROUND THE WORLD.” The KSR crew was here in the compound and we all jumped out of our seats with the loudest roar of the game….the UK bench exploded with the site of Patrick Patterson replacing Dwight Perry as the guy who holds his teammates back…..and somewhere a UK fan on a backroad in Scott County said “see if Billy played him more, that would have happened more often.” IT was a spectacular moment.
At times it has been tough sailing for Jared Carter. But his attitude has remained positive and he has continued to give 100%. That is why he will get a nice ovation on Senior Night and will have a place in UK lore. As Billy showed on Saturday, when the going gets tough, he went to Jared.