Bradley shows no remorse

A few years back Gerald Fitch got in trouble at Kentucky and had to be suspended for one game by coach Tubby Smith. When the Cats played the next game at Vanderbilt, Fitch was back in the lineup and after the game candidly talked about what he had done wrong and how he had let his coach and teammates down. He blamed himself for his situation and vowed to become a better player.

A few years back Gerald Fitch got in trouble at Kentucky and had to be suspended for one game by coach Tubby Smith. When the Cats played the next game at Vanderbilt, Fitch was back in the lineup and after the game candidly talked about what he had done wrong and how he had let his coach and teammates down. He blamed himself for his situation and vowed to become a better player.

Now fast forward to Saturday. Sophomore Ramel Bradley was suspended by Smith for the previous game when Kentucky lost to Tennessee. The coach let him play against Vanderbilt and Bradley responded with 14 points, three assists, one blocked shots and one steal in 22 solid minutes.

But after the game, the remorse was missing. Bradley wouldn't talk about what he had done wrong. Instead, he talked only about how he missed playing. "I just wanted to go out there, knock some shots down and play my game."

What about the female fan wearing the "Free Bradley" T-shirt in the stands? What was that about? "I guess she just wanted me to get out there and play my game. She just wanted to see me play," Bradley smiled and said. "She just wanted to express her feeling that I should be out there playing."

A few minutes later, Bradley was talking about the team's "lack of communication and heart" during yet another Southeastern Conference loss. Again, those seemed like hypocritical words for a player who had been suspended the previous game to be using. Where was his heart when he broke a rule that got him benched for a key SEC game? Where was his communication with his coach when he broke that rule and left the Cats a player short?

Bradley is a free spirit, a player I love to watch play because of his passion for basketball. However, he made a mistake and needed to show that he was sorry for letting his coach and team down.

Bradley wouldn't take the same responsibility for his actions that Fitch did. Maybe that's why Bradley could talk about the need to "knock guys on their butt" rather than give up easy shots while Fitch actually did that because he valued winning.

Bradley's immaturity shows the problems Smith faces daily with this team. Players talk a good game whether it is going harder, avoiding fouls or playing smart. However, when it comes time to play, the Cats can't back up the talk because from all I've seen, this is just not a team overall that values winning and doing the little things it takes to win as much as it does individual success.

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