Saturday, October 18, 2003

Excitement aplenty for Smith, UK



The Associated Press

LEXINGTON - Kentucky basketball coach Tubby Smith really only has one agenda for Big Blue Madness, the traditional opening practice for his team.

"Just fun," Smith said Friday night, as his team prepared to take the court at Memorial Coliseum. "There's not much you can get accomplished at 12:01 a.m. I'm already tired.

"We'll have a real practice tomorrow morning, so we want to get through this without any injuries and just get people excited about Big Blue and go from there," Smith said.

Seeing as how the 8,700 tickets for the 22nd annual event took only 47 minutes to distribute last Saturday, it seems Kentucky fans are plenty excited about their team.

Last season, the Wildcats went 32-4 during their centennial season before losing to Marquette, one step shy of the Final Four.

Kentucky lost three seniors off that team, including standout Keith Bogans. Smith said that though the Wildcats will miss those players, he expects the program to continue to thrive.

Smith said he expects junior forward Chuck Hayes to take a leadership role this season.

"He is the glue to our success last year and to our future," Smith said. "He is a natural leader with great instincts and the ability to lead by example."

Smith said senior guard Gerald Fitch, who reaggravated a hernia this summer, has fully recovered. Sophomore forward Bernard Cote has struggled with back problems but was ready to go as well, Smith said.




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Excitement aplenty for Smith, UK

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KENTUCKY HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
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Conner 50, Ryle 0
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