VAUGHT: Four freshmen handle media exposure well

If Tubby Smith had any doubts about how his freshmen could handle media interviews, he should no longer be worried.

If Tubby Smith had any doubts about how his freshmen could handle media interviews, he should no longer be worried.

The four freshmen were all available to the media after Kentucky's win over Tennessee Friday in the Southeastern Conference Tournament. That's the first time that has happened since the season started. Smith had made Rajon Rondo and Randolph Morris available after UK's final home game win over Tennessee, but Friday was the first time Joe Crawford and Ramel Bradley got to talk to the media.

They all did fine.

Bradley enjoys the media time more than anyone. He smiles, laughs and gives an informative answer to any question. He has a sharp wit and may never meet a media member he doesn't like.

A Kentucky official was trying to get Morris to sit in a specific seat for his interview. When I told him where he was going was fine with me, he said, "Thank you. I've been trying to tell them that."

Rondo was answering questions when someone from ESPN Radio wanted him to stop and do a taped interview immediately. I was a little hesitant to give up press time with Rondo, but he said, "Don't worry. As soon as I am finished, you can talk to me again."

Guess what? When he got through, he came and found me to tell me he was available again.

And Crawford? He had to answer questions for the first time about his departure from the team and whether he would stay at Kentucky next year. He said all the right things and never got frustrated with repeated questions about his decision. Instead, he consistently said he was wrong and made an emotional decision that he should not have made.

The media attention is only going to intensify for the four -- and not just this year. If they all are as good as I think they are going to be, they are going to be the center of media attention the next few years.

But while Smith can worry about what they do on the court, he can relax about their media time because they are all going to be just fine.


Be sure to check out our SEC Tournament "blog" with Matt Jones.


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