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The rebirth of DeAndre Liggins

Coach Cal met with the media this morning to bask in the glory of the Louisville game a bit more and discuss the Penn game coming up on Tuesday.  During the talk, he spoke about the rebirth of two UK players, Josh Harrellson and DeAndre Liggins, and their impact on this season’s game and the difference they made against Louisville.  We’ll discuss it more later this evening and talk about the changes in Josh’ game again, but Coach Cal had a cool quote about DeAndre Liggins, who you might remember, seemed to have at least one foot out the door last at the start of last season:

“They asked me to get rid of him. It wasn’t that he would leave, it was ‘get rid of him.’” (Then asked why he decided to keep Liggins…) “Because I knew him from high school, I knew some of his issues and I thought I could get through to him. See look, I’m not worried — and I knew there’d be ups and downs — I don’t do things publicly. So when I punish a kid, usually you don’t even know about it. I’m not trying to make myself look better by punishing a young kid. I’m not doing that. And I also am not afraid to take chances and have people say things about me, because it’s not about me. It’s about this young man. And I thought we could get him to play the way we wanted him to play, that we could win him over, that he had the things that I like to see in a player, but he had to change. He wouldn’t go in a game…I’ve had many players argue with me. I’ve had players not want to go in the game. You ready for this? If there’s a minute to go, and the young man hasn’t been in and we’re up 25 and I go to stick him in, I’ll say, ‘Do you want to go in?’ If the young man says, ‘No, I don’t want to go in,’ I’m alright with that. You know why? Because I was that guy. I know how that one feels. ‘No, please don’t put me in with a minute.’ Other guys, they could care less if it’s 12 seconds, I got that Kentucky uniform on girls are watching, I’m in. I am in. So, I don’t worry about all that, I don’t worry about give and take. This is an emotional game; we play with a lot of passion. And it’s not over yet with DeAndre. It’s never over. When guys totally start changing habits and learn to trust — sometimes one thing can shoot you in the wrong way, ‘Oh well I knew it.’ We don’t know. The guys last year, same deal. We all thought it was over the hump, we come in to practice, oh my gosh he’s back to where he was day one. So, it’s a daily grind in this, but you know what? It’s worth it. It’s worth it for me.”

Amen.  Go Cats.  Go DeAndre.

Article written by Thomas Beisner

22 Comments for The rebirth of DeAndre Liggins



  1. NotTheSlickistRick
    8:11 pm January 2, 2011 Permalink

    Great post Beis. Thanks for relieving my eyes from another BTI post.



  2. Chris Collinsworth
    8:11 pm January 2, 2011 Permalink

    I thought the PENN game was Monday. Am I wrong?



  3. Rondos dribbling hand
    8:12 pm January 2, 2011 Permalink

    2 posts at once, SWEET.



  4. djcat
    8:16 pm January 2, 2011 Permalink

    thank God! something other than a BTI post, FINALLY!



  5. Jay Shidlers Roots
    8:17 pm January 2, 2011 Permalink

    Who is “They”?



  6. blueblue
    8:24 pm January 2, 2011 Permalink

    #5
    That’s what I was wondering. Who was wanting to get rid of Liggins??



  7. UK2k
    8:32 pm January 2, 2011 Permalink

    MITCH BARNHART that is who



  8. UK2K
    8:34 pm January 2, 2011 Permalink

    Mitch barnhart!!!! that is who.



  9. UK2K
    8:35 pm January 2, 2011 Permalink

    sry bout double post



  10. HoboKat
    8:39 pm January 2, 2011 Permalink

    I seriously doubt Mitch was asking to get rid of players.

    Im guessing it was the assistants.



  11. FrogWilson
    8:43 pm January 2, 2011 Permalink

    Anybody have video of this?



  12. That's what She
    8:53 pm January 2, 2011 Permalink

    I’m going to the game on Monday.



  13. Just a Suggestion
    8:55 pm January 2, 2011 Permalink

    I’d also like to know who “they” refers to … where’s Matt Jones when you need him??



  14. bmt22033
    8:55 pm January 2, 2011 Permalink

    I hope whoever it was that wanted to get rid of him was watching him during the Louisville game. Harrellson and Knight got a lot of kudos publicly but I think Liggins deserved just as much recognition for his defensive effort that neutralized Siva for the whole game (and Knowles toward the end of the game).



  15. ukgrad93
    8:55 pm January 2, 2011 Permalink

    I agree with #2 – the game is tomorrow.



  16. OneAndDone
    9:42 pm January 2, 2011 Permalink

    Good for Coach and DeAndre! His LOCKDOWN D is second to noone’s. I love the player he has become. No matter who comes back next year from this team, DeAndre still has a starting spot next year because his badass D!!!



  17. rockatao
    10:28 pm January 2, 2011 Permalink

    Liggins for National Defensive POY. Beat the drums, UK.



  18. ukcarp10
    11:02 pm January 2, 2011 Permalink

    Bryan the Intern sucks because…
    #1 Your best friends, referring to his earlier post, are not KSR’s biggest fans of the year. Ever heard of a text message or a phone call buddy to tell your closest friends how much you appreciate them instead of posting an obnoxious two sentence long post. What are you 4?
    #2 Miss Mate Jones, no disrespect Beisner, but you cant even get the game times right. The Penn game is tomorrow (Monday Night) tip at 7 pm.

    All in all I’m just in a bad mood but seriously I was pretty disappointed in the waste of space in everything Bryan the “so called” Intern posts.



  19. WillCorbett
    11:19 pm January 2, 2011 Permalink

    Yea the game is Monday @7pm



  20. WillCorbett
    11:29 pm January 2, 2011 Permalink

    Damn ukcarp10….just be happy….we beat the Dirty Cards remember?



  21. Boogiewoogie
    11:40 pm January 2, 2011 Permalink

    Instead of complaining about BTI shouldn’t we all be patting Liggins on the back for changing his attitude and accepting his new found role? Great job DeAndre! You inspire your team and your fans!



  22. Brett
    1:24 am January 3, 2011 Permalink

    Liggins is my favorite player this year and next year if the NBA scouts don’t praise his D too mich. He obviously is a selfless player and the best teammate you can ask for. Calipari saved this kid’s future and that is not a hyperbole.