How the rest of the SEC feels about Kentucky
10/19/2016 06:56 PM
SEC men’s basketball media day was once again focused on the top team in the league, the Kentucky Wildcats. It didn’t matter whether you coach Missouri or play for Texas A&M, the media wanted to get everyone’s opinion on what makes Kentucky such a great program in a very mediocre conference. We had the opportunity to talk with some of the coaches and players about what they thought about Kentucky and the team this season.
Alabama coach Avery Johnson: “You want to beat them, but Coach Cal has done a great job with his program. While others may be envious or jealous, I’m not. I study them a lot and I like to study what successful people do.”
South Carolina coach Frank Martin: “I think it’s great Kentucky is in our conference. Having them as an ally to represent the SEC, are you kidding me? We get to compete with what’s as good as any program in the history of college basketball. It’s our job to elevate our program. When I got to South Carolina, we weren’t even in the same book as Kentucky. I think we’re now in chapter 15 in the book. We’re trying to get to where we can be in the same paragraph as Kentucky. It’s not my job to bring them down. They win at the highest level. It’s my job to build our program to where we can be in the conversation with the University of Kentucky and that’s my challenge. That’s what I have to do. That’s what our players have to aspire to do everyday.”
Auburn coach Bruce Pearl: “With John Calipari and Kentucky, his fanbase hears every year about that crop of young guys and about every other year, they’ve been as good as advertised. This is another special group. This could be another Karl Towns-type group.” Shots fired at last year’s team?
Pearl went on to say, “Great players, great characters, great work ethic. They could be a really fun and exciting team.”
LSU guard Antonio Blakeney: “They do it every year. They’re always successful. They’re always a great team. They have a lot of great young guys. I know some of the young guys they have on their team. Everybody gets up for the Kentucky game because they are the highlighted team in the SEC.”
Missouri coach Kim Anderson: “You look at who they recruit and it’s always five-star, five-star, five-star, five-star, five-star. John does a great job of putting those guys together in a short period of time, so certainly I think they’re the team to beat in our league. I think they’re the standard in our league.”
Tennessee coach Rick Barnes: “John has done a great job again with the way he’s put together a great program. He’s done a great thing year in and year out. I think he gets the most out of his guys and the one thing I can tell you is his guys get better. To win at the level we want to win at Tennessee, we want to play against the best competition, the best talent and we truly believe that we are going to put ourselves in a position to that we’ll be looked upon that way.”
Georgia guard J.J. Frazier: “They’re always good and they’ve proven that. For us, we’re competitors, so at the end of the day we enjoy them bringing guys like that in because we just want to compete against those guys.”