Maysville’s own Chris Lofton, a state champion and former Mr. Basketball in the state of Kentucky, teamed up with Kentucky Sports Radio for the second hour of Friday’s show to catch us up on what he has been doing since he scored a million points for that orange team south of the border. We learned he is still playing professionally and hoping to sign a new contract overseas once COVID-19 allows; until then, he is living in Lexington and staying in basketball shape as best as he can.
We also learned a little more about Lofton’s storied career at Tennessee, including how Kentucky waited until he was already a star at Tennessee to find a roster spot for him. As the story goes, Lofton wasn’t recruited by Kentucky or Louisville out of high school despite a superstar career at Mason County. It was 2004 and Tubby signed five guards: Rajon Rondo, Ramel Bradley, Joe Crawford, Adam Williams and transfer Patrick Sparks, in addition to five-star center Randolph Morris. UK’s class was pretty stacked, as Lofton acknowledged in the interview, admitting he holds no grudge toward Tubby Smith for the scholarship snub.
But once Lofton earned national attention for scoring over 400 points in his freshman season, and the coach who recruited him, Buzz Peterson, was fired in Knoxville; Kentucky suddenly had interest.
“I was hearing from Kentucky, I was hearing from Louisville… It was interesting after that freshman year. I was getting calls,” Loften admitted.
But he ultimately decided to stick around to play for Bruce Pearl once Pearl assured Lofton he would get plenty of shots in Tennessee’s offense. Lofton went on to score the fourth-most points in Tennessee history, earn the SEC’s Player of the Year award… and we learned today they won’t retire his jersey.
Listen in the second hour: