VAUGHT: Morris and Rondo ready for Tournament

Randolph Morris: "I think my best, and the team's best, is still to come. I know I have to rebound, passing and play defense better than I have."

Kentucky's two freshmen starters know they probably can't appreciate what the pressure will be like in the NCAA Tournament. However, they also insist they will not be overwhelmed with anything the Wildcats will face when tourney play starts Thursday in Indianapolis against Eastern Kentucky.

"I know NCAA play starts with the point guard," said Rajon Rondo, who should be fully recovered from the ankle sprain that hampered him during the SEC Tournament by Friday. "You have to be the leader of the team and not be afraid to make mistakes. I'm just a freshman. I have to play my role, but I know what the role is.

"I look up to Chuck (Hayes). He's been in all kind of situations before. Anything I need help with, I can ask Chuck and that helps my confidence. My No. 1 goal is to help our team win and I'm confident I can make the plays this team needs in the NCAA Tournament. From here on, it's all about team, playing your role and winning a championship. This is the best time of year for any sport because everybody watches."

Center Randolph Morris said he followed the NCAA Tournament religiously during his prep career and tried to envision what it would be like to play in the tournament himself. Now his inside presence could play a big role in determining how much longer the Wildcats keep playing.

"I am definitely looking forward to the tournament. I think Kentucky and myself have a very good opportunity to win it all. That's why I am looking forward to the tournament," Morris said. "I think my best, and the team's best, is still to come. I know I have to rebound, passing and play defense better than I have."

Morris was hoping the Cats would be a No. 1 seed, which UK would have been if it had not lost to Florida.

"A No. 1 seed would be ideal, but no matter what seed you are, I've seen enough games to know you better perform and play well or you get beat," Morris said.


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