Former Kentucky basketball player Mark Krebs shared his thoughts on a variety of subjects during his time at the 22nd annual Ohio UK Convention Saturday in Middletown, Ohio.
Krebs admitted he was as surprised as anyone by the success his former UK?roommate had last season and what a key role he had in the Wildcats' Final Four run.
"I did not think he would ever do all he did," said Krebs. "But after Enes (Kanter) was not allowed to play, I knew Josh would pick up his game.
"Getting in trouble for that tweet (about coach John Calipari) and having to get up at 6 every morning to run and work out. He got his body fat down and then his confidence just built.?He had one good game, then another and then really took off after the Louisville game. Josh probably could have done this any other year if the situation had called for him but he never had a chance to shine with the talent we had.
"He just became totally different person and player. I just hope now it all works out for him in the NBA.
His father was a coach for 26 years, but Krebs is not ready to go that route just yet.
"I like coaching, but I like TV/radio stuff (with Kentucky Sports Radio and Matt Jones), too. I like the camera," Krebs said after spending the past year doing media work. "Sometime I would like to be a high school, not a college coach where you have to do all that traveling."
He's made the adjustment from player to media analyst/critic.
"I love it. I almost got trapped not be overly critical but I can break down film in way people understand, who should do this or who should go to the NBA," Krebs said. "Who I am to judge players? The player in me is saying all different things but when I am trying to portray something publicly, sometimes I say it differently. The further I get removed from the team the easier it will get.
"I am not one just to say this guy screwed up royally. I want to shelter guys, but I also want to be honest. I also try not to say anything stupid when I share my opinions because I want to keep doing this."
Krebs thinks as highly of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Anthony Davis, Marquis Teague and Kyle Wiltjer as UK fans do.
"This new class here now is unbelievable," Krebs said. "The only thing they lack is a true big body like Josh or DeMarcus (Cousins). But Kentucky is going to be so athletic and deep. Anthony Davis is incredible. The guy is 6-9 and can play point guard. Wiltjer is really good.
"Teague played pickup ball with us two years ago and was out there running the team. They are going to be so good. Gilchrist may come off the bench and still be an all-American."
Krebs' mother found out she had cancer the same day his high school career started, but managed to live to see his Senior Day at UK before passing away. Krebs didn't share his mother's ordeal with teammates, but most found out.
He says Perry Stevenson, Ramon Harris and Patrick Patterson were big helps. So was Michael Porter because his mother also had breast cancer.
"DeMacrus, when he found out, he was great. He has that tough exterior, but when I told him he broke down. He told me if I needed anything, just to let him know. He said, ‘If you need anything, let me know.'
"John Wall's father died when he was young. He was great when he found out, too. Josh, my roommate, was great, too."
Krebs had no trouble pinpointing the hardest place in the Southeastern Conference to play.
"Has to be Vanderbilt. We lost by 41 and 30-something. That place is so weird (with the team benches under the baskets)," Krebs said. "I think coach Cal will do great there because his teams just run and go. Coach (Billy) Gillispie wanted to run set plays and the point guard had to turn and look at him, a big mistake. Vandy does different things with codes and words to compensate. But coach Cal's system will negate a lot of Vandy's advantages, too.
"Florida is a tough place to play, too, with the crowd right on you. But to me, Vandy was by far the hardest place to go play."
22nd annual Ohio UK Convention Saturday
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