Joker Phillips is not shying away from the success of the UK basketball program. In fact, it appears that he wants to embrace it more than ever. When addressing the media on Wednesday morning he spoke about the success of the basketball program and how it relates to his team.
“I’m a Kentuckian. I’m selling the basketball program. We wanna hitch our wagon to the basketball program,” said Phillips.
He then reeled off players like John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis. It’s no secret that UK football has always used UK basketball just as Matthew Mitchell has used them for his women’s team. Often Phillips will give recruits a tour of the basketball team’s locker room.
Still, it is impossible to ignore the difficulty of removing yourself from the shadow that is Kentucky basketball in Lexington. So, obviously there are pros and cons with this.
He then spoke about his team.
When asked about young guys that will step up:
“DeMarco Robinson is a guy that had a really good spring for us. He was a guy that grew up in the spring and became a guy that our quarterbacks can depend on. Coshik Williams became a playmaker for us and our tight ends stepped up. We have to get back to using our tight ends at Kentucky.”
On where Josh Clemons will be injury-wise this fall:
He’ll be close to 100-percent in the fall. Josh is a guy that understands our system. He is a hard working kid. He’ll be in condition. We just need to make sure he is at the game and to make sure we will only practice him twice a week.
On Maxwell Smith:
“He’s a guy that is in position to run out first with the offense. It’s a quarterback competition. Morgan Newton started 16 games in this league and Max has started three and we have two quality freshmen that just walked on campus. We have to give these guys an opportunity to compete and Max leads that right now.”
On what it will take to get this team back to a bowl game:
“We have to be consistent. The quarterback has to manage the oh-my-gosh, the bad plays. You can’t take a bad play and turn it into an even worse play. They have to do a better job of that. Have to be able to protect the football and we have to be able to make big plays. It’s very hard to try to drive the ball 70 yards. A lot things can happen with 18 to 22 year olds on long drives. We have to have that big play ability and I think we have that in our program now. “
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