TIREY: Sims' coach discusses UK decision

KSR's Jim Tirey interviewed the coach of Rekalin Sims about the the forward's decision to play for UK. The coach discusses the deciding factors as well as the delay in sending his letter of intent.

It took awhile, but the silence has been broken. I was able to catch up to the head coach of the Salt Lake Community College basketball team, and the head coach of Rekalin Sims, Norm Parrish. Sims is the latest addition to the recruiting class of the Kentucky Wildcats for the next basketball season. The 6'8", 215 pound Sims is transferring from SLCC junior college to play next year for Tubby Smith. And it was a tougher decision for Sims than you might think…

A couple of weekends ago, Sims visited Kentucky and was very impressed. The very next weekend, Sims upheld a promise to the Texas A & M staff and visited that program as well. Soon after Sims returned to the Salt Lake campus, he received a visit from Coach Tubby Smith, and soon after, made his decision to choose Kentucky. But what was involved in the decision? And what were the deciding factors? "I think mostly that it's just Kentucky," said Parrish. "Rekalin said it's just one of the schools you always dream of playing for. He knows that, obviously, unless the bottom falls out, that they are always going to be pretty high in post-season play. It's just a dream. It's the highest level of college basketball there is. I told him that you're not going to walk in there and be the man, like you've been here. I think he's excited to play with the top players in the country."

So how much was Texas A & M in there at the end. More than you would like to believe, Cat fans. "He loves Texas A & M," said Parrish. "I mean, they did a great job. They've literally been on him for a full year. So he's very close with that staff. In fact, when he made the phone call (to inform Texas A & M of his decision), he didn't get choked up too bad, but it was hard to do. I think if you would have asked him from last April to this December, they (Texas A & M) were probably the top one on the list. Then Kentucky jumped in there and as that recruiting went on, obviously he chose them. But it was a very tough decision for him just because of the closeness with a couple of the coaches."

There are a lot of Kentucky fans who have been chewing their fingernails lately, because Sims' letter-of-intent has not made it to Kentucky yet. Rest ye little heads, Cat fans. The LOI is on its' way. Parrish said it took a little detour, that's all. "He's signed it. I know it had to go to a grandmother, that's his guardian. She's in California. I know Kentucky expects it today or tomorrow. It came, and he signed it last Saturday."

Parrish feels that one of Kentucky's departing players has really helped Rekalin, but if you're thinking Chuck Hayes, guess again. "With Chuck Hayes leaving, everybody kind of labels him a four. He can play the four. He did for us. And his numbers are that of a four. But I think the other guy (Azubuike) leaving and declaring for the draft, probably helped Rekalin's cause. Because we've said all along, he's more of a three/four. So I think he feels there are some minutes there. And I think the whole style and philosophy was very similar. So I think he felt very comfortable." Lucky for Kentucky…


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