LEMOND: UK says goodbye to Hayes and Carrier

This year UK says goodbye to Chuck Hayes and Josh Carrier. Hayes has been in the Cats starting lineup from almost the minute he walked on the UK campus. He has started over 100 consecutive games for Kentucky, and could break the school record of 110 straight starts set by Alex Groza if the Cats make a deep run in the SEC and NCAA tournaments. 

This year UK says goodbye to Chuck Hayes and Josh Carrier. Hayes has been in the Cats starting lineup from almost the minute he walked on the UK campus. He has started over 100 consecutive games for Kentucky, and could break the school record of 110 straight starts set by Alex Groza if the Cats make a deep run in the SEC and NCAA tournaments. 

"I realized early on that you don't lose here," said Hayes, who added he never lost ten games in a season in high school. "You don't lose at Rupp. You don't lose to any team you're supposed to beat."      

The Modesto, California, native has helped UK win 85 percent of his starts, which is the leading winning percentage among active players in the nation.  He has joined Kentucky's exclusive 1,000 point club, and ranks in the top ten in UK history in rebounds and blocked shots.

"I've had a great career," Hayes said. "I've been on some good teams. I've seen the highs and lows of being a UK basketball player. I've enjoyed it." Hayes got an early idea of what it's like to be a UK player when he arrived on campus a couple of days before classes started his freshman year. His roommate, Keith Bogans, took him to Wal-Mart to buy some supplies for their room.      

"People were coming up asking for my autograph. They knew my name. They knew my school. They asked me about my high school coach. That was kind of 'freaky', and I hadn't even played yet."      

Carrier admitted that he actually grew up a Louisville fan. "My dad and I were kind of the 'Lone Rangers'," Carrier said.    Carrier was Kentucky's Mr. Basketball coming out of Bowling Green High School in 2001.  Even though his basketball career never developed the way he hoped on the court, what happened 'off' the court is his greatest UK memory.      

"I came in as a kid," Carrier said.  "I was scared to death.  I didn't know what to expect.   I didn't know what to do, but four years later, I'm leaving as a man."  

It was during Carrier's freshman season, "Team Turmoil", that he said he found himself, and found a friend for life in fellow senior Chuck Hayes, whom he calls a "brother".      

"A lot of late night talks during 'Team Turmoil' brought us together."  Both will receive the royal treatment against Tennessee when UK rolls out the 'blue' carpet for #44 and for #5.


RYAN LEMOND is one of the more recognizeable faces on local TV in Lexington as the sportscaster for WLEX-TV, channel 18 in Lexington.  You can read Ryan Lemond articles here on Kentucky Sports Report several times a week as well as Kentucky Sports Report - the magazine.  If you have a question or comment, ask him on the message boards.



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