Entry: UK vs. Nike Elite~ Preview Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Today UK plays an exhibition game against Nike Elite, who beat them last year 83-82. 

Nike Elite~ Probable Starters
No.     Name                   Pos.     Ht.   
21      Elvin Mimms             F         6-5
23      Ryan Fletcher           F         6-9
44      Jason Jennings         C         7-0
2       Brandon Watkins       G        6-1
5       Donta Richardson      G        6-2

Kentucky~ Probable Starters
No.     Name                   Pos.     Ht.        Wt.       Year
14       Erik Daniels             F         6-8       214      Senior
44       Chuck Hayes           F         6-6       247       Junior
24       Kelenna Azubuike   G-F       6-5       208       Sophmore
1         Cliff Hawkins           G         6-1       187       Senior
4         Gerald Fitch            G          6-3      188        Senior

Kris's Analysis of UK Playas
Erik Daniels~ Flashy player. Often says his idol is Magic Johnson & that greatly influences his style of play. It shows.
Chuck Hayes~ I met him this summer! He's a solid player, always good for a rebound & has great defense. Was a starter last season & proved he deserved it.
Kelenna Azubuike~ I LOVE THIS KID! How can anyone not, after seeing that SPECTACULAR one-handed putback at the Senior Night Vandy Game?? I have that on tape & I still watch it, LoL. Anyways~ he's incredibly athletic, a great all-around ball player. Last season he was noted for needing to work on his defensive ability, it will be interesting to see if he's improved over the summer.
Cliff Hawkins~ Recognized last year as 'the best 6th man in the country'. A fabulous point guard, great at setting up plays & known for his tenacious D coming off the bench.
Gerald Fitch~ His grandmother died recently. Last season he was another one that we depended on, especially after Cliff Hawkins was delcared academically ineligable to play. He ably stepped up to the point guard spot & excelled. This season he'll be back at shooting guard with the return of Hawkins.
Brandon Stockton~  I may be crazy, but I think this kid is gonna get some playing time this year (he's a 5-10 sophmore from Glasgow, KY). He's quick & in my opinion will be asked to step up to the point guard position in a few games this year. Don't underestimate him.
Josh Carrier~ Had a few ups & downs last season. Hopefully this year people won't be so hard on the former Mr. Basketball of Kentucky.
Lukasz Obruzt~ One of Kentucky's 7 foot freshys. Apparently didn't play so well in the Blue-White scrimmage & hasn't been practicing that great.
Bernard Cote~ He just annoyed me last season. Couldn't grab a rebound & held onto the ball too long. Hope he's better this year, or he just might be the Jules Camara of his class (you know, the one everyone blames when anything goes wrong)
Matt Heissenbuttel~ His brother went to my school. I feel bad for him that he's a senior & doesn't get virtually any playing time, but he does kinda suck.
Shagari Alleyne~ I was thrilled when UK announced that he had signed. With the loss of Jules Camara & Marquis Estill, we need a big man to step up & take the job, & this guy's the one to do it (he's 7-3, the tallest dude ever to play for UK)
Antwain Barbour~ Last season he started out playing ok, but then he broke his wrist & wasn't the same the rest of the season. Doesn't look like he's off to a much better start this season, considering he's suspended for a driving infraction (or something). I think he has great potential, he just has to get his head in it.
*note: these are not all of UK's players, just the ones that I had a comment on. Other players are: Ravi Moss, Preston LeMaster, Bobby Perry, Sheray Thomas, & Patrick Sparks*

Kristen's Thoughts on... everything
To the surprise of many, including me, Tubby Smith has chosen not to start either of the two 7 foot freshys & is instead going with a smaller line-up, where the tallest dude on the court is Erik Daniels at 6-8. Is this a good move, considering Team Nike has Jason Jennings, 7-0, at center? I'm not so sure, but I'm thrilled that Azubuike is starting. I've had my eye on that kid all last season. He has perhaps the best potential to become great of anyone on this undoubtedly talented team... In an interview with Shagari Alleyne, he states that guarding fellow big man Obrzut has helped him with his defense immensely & feels that he can take on Jennings when he is put in (which Tubby assures us will happen)...And will Gerlad Fitch's recent news of his grandmother's death affect his playing? See "Quotes" for answer.

(on Gerald Fitch's practice after hearing news of his grandmother's death)
"Looked great. Unbelievable. As sharp as he's been all year."
~Tubby Smith, coach, university of Kentucky

(in response to a question of whether he's nervous with so many UK fans watching and possibly criticizing his game)
"Well, everywhere I go, everywhere I play, that's what people do all the time. It's going to be a great experience having people watching me play."
~ Shagari Alleyne, freshman, University of Kentucky

(when someone mentioned that Nike Elite has a 7-footer):
"So I hear. So I hear."
~ Shagari Alleyne, freshman, University of Kentucky

*quotes courtesy of the Lexington Herald Leader*



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