VAUGHT: Morris to make big impact

Morris has not been able to play this season. But he has been practicing daily and the motivation from last summer's NBA embarrassment should be more than enough to make Morris a much better player this season.

How could anyone think getting Randolph Morris back is not going to make Kentucky a dramatically better team?

Seriously. Consider the improvement we've seen from Rajon Rondo, Ramel Bradley and Joe Crawford, the other members of that highly-touted recruiting class with Morris. All three are vastly improved players this season -- and all three are continuing to get better.

No, Morris has not been able to play this season. But he has been practicing daily and the motivation from last summer's NBA embarrassment should be more than enough to make Morris a much better player this season.

Of course, even if Morris only plays the same way he did last year, isn't that a lot better than what Kentucky has had inside this season. Against the smaller Ohio Bobcats last week, Kentucky threw the ball inside only 19 times. Considering the Cats got just three field goals out of those passes, maybe UK went inside more than it should have.

No one was better at scoring inside than former UK All-American Kenny Walker. He says there's no doubt Morris is going to help -- and help immediately.

"Your perimeter players have to have confidence to throw the ball inside. Sometimes they might not throw it inside when a player is open, but if you are playing inside, you have to work so hard that the guards have no choice but to throw it to you or the coach will take them out," Walker said. "The post players have not been doing that. They don't work that hard every possession to get the ball.

"Randolph showed last year he could get the ball and score. Guys will throw him the ball. And if he stays out of foul trouble, he'll get a lot more minutes and that will help his production. His play will also help everybody else on the team. Guys will be able to settle into roles. This team is still looking for an identity. When Randolph gets back, those roles ought to get set pretty quick and then I think we'll see this team get a lot better."


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