Smith says, "changes are going to be made"

Tubby Smith certainly didn't sound like a man looking for another job have speculated during this tumultuous season at Kentucky finally ended today with UK's 87-83 loss to Connecticut in Philadelphia. Instead, Smith sounded like a coach ready to go to work tonight to make sure he never endures another 13-loss season with the Wildcats.

Tubby Smith certainly didn't sound like a man looking for another job have speculated during this tumultuous season at Kentucky finally ended today with UK's 87-83 loss to Connecticut in Philadelphia. Instead, Smith sounded like a coach ready to go to work tonight to make sure he never endures another 13-loss season with the Wildcats.

"One way or the other, changes are going to be made to get the right attitudes here," said Smith. "We are not going through another season like this. I promise you that."

Several times this season Smith thought his team had refocused and was ready to play the way he felt it could. He didn't let blowout losses to Kansas or Indiana discourage him. He didn't let home losses to North Carolina, Vanderbilt or Alabama sway his belief that he had enough talent to have a championship team.

Kentucky gave a valiant effort Sunday, perhaps its best of the year. The old Kentucky passion returned and teamwork rather than individual play was the theme for the game. But once the game ended, it was obvious Smith had kept his frustrations to himself long enough.

"These players have to understand that here at Kentucky, there is not going to be any bending in the way we do anything," Smith said. "All things will be evaluated as we go forward."

That means there could be staff changes and/or roster changes. Rajon Rondo is considered a possible early entry into the NBA draft, something he insisted after today's game that he had not thought that much about yet. "I am just focusing on school. I haven't even thought about next year. We have a team meeting after we get back and I will talk to coach Smith then to get his advice," Rondo said.

Center Randolph Morris, who tried the NBA route last year, has indicated he will return. But since he's a NBA free agent, he could get a contract offer he couldn't turn down any time from now until October.

Other players could transfer. "I don't know about any of that," Smith said. "But we are going to have a different overall attitude about us, I can promise you that."

Then there is recruiting and bringing in needed talent. "Recruiting is all part of it (the evaluation process)," Smith said. "When you lose, you are anxious to figure out what you can improve on so you will be better. We've got to get better. Personnel-wise, we've signed some people who will help.

"But those who want to be part of something special have to make the effort to change and improve. That's what I want to see."

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