VAUGHT: If Morris returns UK will be a favorite

If Randolph Morris is ruled eligible at Kentucky as he probably will be, college basketball analyst, and former UK guard, Larry Conley says the Wildcats have to be the prohibitive favorite to win the Southeastern Conference title this season.

"With Morris back, nobody else can even come close to them. With Morris to go with the guards they have back and the recruits they have, they are in pretty good shape," said Conley. "I just don't see a lot of holes at Kentucky like I do other SEC teams. It still depends on what some other teams have done to fill their ranks, but Kentucky could be really good again."

So good that Conley says it's not out of the realm of possibility to see the Wildcats as a Final Four contender if Morris comes back and significantly improves his play.

"Morris has to play better than he did last year. I thought there were a lot of times he could have performed better but just did not give the effort he should have," Conley said.

Could part of that be because he was only a freshman and needed time to adjust to college basketball?

"Those other freshmen played hard all the time. How about Rondo? He was a freshman and he was out there busting his butt every time I saw him play," Conley said. "I just don't accept that Morris needed time to adjust. If you come in with a big reputation like he did, you are supposed to play well and you are supposed to play hard. He did have some good games, but there was not really one game that I worked where he was just dominant. He has to be more consistent. Kentucky fans are pretty astute and when nobody just stood up and applauded because he was coming back should have told him something.

"We'll see how everything with Morris shakes out in a few more months. But with an improved Morris back, there's just no reason for Kentucky not to be the class of the SEC."

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