Catching up with Perry Stevenson

6-9 power forward Perry Stevenson, of Lafayette, Louisianna, committed to play his college hoops for Tubby Smith and the University of Kentucky last week. After giving Perry a chance to catch his breath and relax KSR spoke to Perry about his recruitment, and the factor that led him to become a Wildcat.

He's definitely a hard young man to reach. Perry Stevenson, the 6'9", 195 pound forward from Lafayette, Louisiana, who committed to Tubby Smith and the University of Kentucky last week, is more slippery to the media than his frame is to opponents on the basketball court. KSR was able to corner him and get some comments about why he chose Kentucky.

Stevenson had grown a bit weary of the recruiting process. After making his visits, and hearing his phone ring on a constant basis, he sat down with his coach and his family last week to decide once and for all. He kept coming back to Kentucky.

"It feels great to get the process over with," said Stevenson. "And as far as being a part of Kentucky…it just feels good."

Visiting for Big Blue Madness sealed the deal for Stevenson. It was the first time the event was held at Rupp Arena, and 23,000 strong can be a very convincing sight. His coach at Northside High School, Rick Lebato, confirmed last week after the commitment that Stevenson was ready to commit to UK when he returned from Lexington. Lebato thought it best if he slept on it for a couple of days. Stevenson could hardly wait.

When Coach Smith arrived at Northside to visit him last week, Stevenson told Smith he was going to be a Wildcat. They cemented the deal with a hug.

Stevenson said that Madness was the straw that broke the camel's back, but the reason he chose Kentucky was the coaching.

"That was something to see," gushed the lean forward. "I mean, I've never been a part of anything like that before. The place was huge, and it was just packed. That was the largest arena I've ever seen for basketball. Our gym here (Northside) seats about 1000 to 1200, so that was kind of eye opening. But the coaching staff made the difference. Not to say that Texas Tech or any of the other schools have bad ones, because they were good, too."

Lexington as a city also made an impression on Stevenson. "I thought the city was beautiful. The campus was real nice. It looks a lot different than, say, LSU. It is hard to compare campuses because the cities are different." The restaurants in Lexington can also take pride in the fact that they helped land Perry for Coach Smith. When I asked him what his favorite part of the visit was, he replied, "Besides the eating, Midnight Madness." I had to hear what his explanation was. "We went to different restaurants," said Stevenson. "Restaurants that were different than what we see here, mostly seafood. Around here, you don't get too many ribs."

There was just a "comfort" factor that was present with UK and the coaches. "They helped a lot by making me feel comfortable, and letting me hang around with the guys, like I was already a part of team. Coach Smith told me that all I have to do is come in and work and I'll fit in great."


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