TIREY: Sims Is On His Way To UK

The 6'8" junior college transfer power forward that will replace Chuck Hayes for Kentucky coach Tubby Smith next season is almost on campus.

The 6'8" junior college transfer power forward that will replace Chuck Hayes for Kentucky coach Tubby Smith next season is almost on campus. Rekalin Sims, from Salt Lake Community College, is feeling good about passing his one class this summer semester to become eligible, and find his way to Kentucky for the start of classes next week. KSR is here with an exclusive update with what is going on with Sims.

"I just took my final on Monday," said Sims, of the one algebra class he was taking by correspondence this summer. "I just finished that up and really I'm just waiting on the school to give me back my grade, and let me know how I did. I feel real good about the class. There's really no problems with that. I know I'm going to pass it, and I'm ready to go to Kentucky. It was one of the classes needed to graduate from junior college." So Kentucky fans can breathe a sigh of relief, that the most important member of the 2005 recruiting class will actually be headed for Kentucky Friday. Sims is expecting to hear on his final grade next week.

The summer was one of concentrating on the one class he needed and putting on some weight. Tubby Smith had directed Sims to gain some over the summer. "I have been just trying to take some shakes, and eat a lot...just whatever I can to try and gain some weight. Coach [Smith] wanted me to come in a certain size, and I've been working real hard to try and get there. They wanted me to be at 215 [pounds]. I'm a little over. I'm about 218, right now. But I have been working on getting in the right shape, trying to work on being able to run the court all the time, staying on my toes, and always moving. I have also been trying to perfect my jumper, and playing hard all the time." Rekalin was able to hone his game against great competition, as he played in pick-up games with the University of Utah players many times.

But Sims admits to being a little nervous about arriving on campus to take his place among the Wildcat elite. "I am very anxious. It is going to be tough for me to get used to what is going on with the program. It's not going to be easy. So I am a little nervous. But I am ready to get the season started, to try and do whatever I can to win games at Kentucky." But Sims wants it known that it is just the atmosphere, and not his teammates that he is nervous about. "I am a little nervous about how things will be playing basketball. I have already met the guys and they are great guys. I love them all. I am just nervous about what I can do to help the team. In junior college, I was pretty much the man. I would shoot anytime I wanted to. So it will be different for me to get used to knowing when it is my turn to take a shot and just being able to make the right choices." That's a great indication that this young man understands that you must adhere to Tubby Smith's system, and it will be an adjustment for him.

Sims did keep track of his teammates at Kentucky this summer, while he was studying and working out. "I spoke with Ravi Moss, maybe a week or so ago, and he told me about Patrick [Sparks] and Rajon [Rondo]." The two players mentioned traveled with USA basketball this summer, Sparks is still in Turkey, and Rondo just came back from Argentina. The scenario of playing for his country was something Sims would love to experience. "Definitely. It sounds very interesting. It always good to get your name out there and visit other places. Plus you always get better when playing against any competition you can." Sims also followed with great interest the Randolph Morris saga as it played out this summer. "I heard about him putting his name in, and then not getting drafted. I heard he didn't have an agent, which is a good thing. I hope he is able to come and join us and help us win more games. I would love for him to come back."


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