While many of us might wonder if Kentucky coach Tubby Smith shouldn't consider a permanent move to a smaller lineup unless Randolph Morris regains his eligibility, UK associate coach Dave Hobbs says it is way too early to panic over the play of 7-foot juniors Lukasz Obrzut and Shagari Alleyne.
"We obviously need some help inside. There is an opportunity there for
those guys. What we have to do is just keep working to make them more
effective players," said Hobbs. "You just can't forget them. We have to
keep making them better. If they are not doing what we need, then we
have to work until hopefully they do what we need."
Hobbs says UK fans should remember that Alleyne and Obrzut have not been
starters -- or regular contributors before. Not only are they adjusting
to bigger expectations, but they are playing on a team that is adjusting
to not having Morris, Chuck Hayes or Kelenna Azubuike in the starting
lineup this year.
"We have to accentuate the positive things they can do. All players
bring something positive to the game and there is not one player on our
team who can do everything," Hobbs said. "That's what roles are all
about. You have to develop those roles and get guys to buy into that.
For any guy to perform his role, he has to understand what you want them
to do. It just doesn't happen two games into the season.
"We are not going to ask those two guys to do things they can't
consistently do. We just want to get to where they do the things they
can do on a consistent basis. They need to work toward that. If we reach
a point where they can't get that done, then we'll go a different
direction. But it is way too early for that now."
Hobbs says Obrzut can face the basket and hit a 15-foot shot, run the
court and play defense. Alleyne can block shots and is working to show
he can score with a hook shot near the basket. Both need to show they
"Tubby's message is pretty clear. If you don't like your playing time,
rebound the ball and you'll get on the floor," Hobbs said. "That's an
area we need them to step up, and hopefully they still can because size
is one thing you cannot teach."
Cats looking for inside consistency
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