VAUGHT: Tubby trusts team to make good decisions

If Kentucky beats Michigan State today, give Tubby Smith credit for making a major adjustment in his coaching style. No, I'm not psychic. I don't have a vision of a game-changing call Smith is going to make against the Spartans.

If Kentucky beats Michigan State today, give Tubby Smith credit for making a major adjustment in his coaching style.

No, I'm not psychic. I don't have a vision of a game-changing call Smith is going to make against the Spartans.

What I have seen, though, is the way Smith has been more relaxed and confident with this team no matter what the situation. That's why I think the Wildcats go into this game without feeling the same pressure they have in previous years.

"Basically when the season started out, he was not really what I would call uptight, but he was always serious and focused," Kentucky freshman Randolph Morris said Saturday. "He wanted to make us feel how focused he was by yelling at us. Now he is more laid back. He is trusting us to make good decisions. He's not really as moody, but his mood has changed to where he's a more laid back person. He trusts us more to do the right things."

Morris said he sensed a major change in Smith after the Wildcats won at Alabama in February.

Junior Ravi Moss thinks Smith is merely taking what he considers the best approach to get the most out of this team.

"He adjusts to teams the way they need to be led. I think he is leading us the most effective way he can," Moss said. "That might mean being a little more lax and not putting as much pressure on us. I think that is what he's doing and he's been real successful."

Why has Smith done that? What's different this year that has the coach more relaxed?

"I think it shows he trusts our leaders, Josh and Chuck, to do the right thing and have us mentally ready. He's learned we are going to do the right things and be ready to play," Moss said. "We've not given him any reason to have to be uptight."

So while there won't be a stat to measure what impact that has on today's game, just remember that a more relaxed Tubby Smith going into the game could translate into a better Kentucky team during the game.


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