VAUGHT: Morris feels no extra pressure

Randolph Morris insists there's no reason for him to feel any extra pressure as he prepares for his junior season at Kentucky. "I am a junior. I know I can play here physically and mentally. Once you get to be a junior or senior, there should be no pressure at all. You have done it before. You should know what to expect," Morris said during Thursday's Media Day.

Plus, after all that happened his sophomore year, this season has to be easier. Morris declared himself eligible for the 2006 NBA draft, went undrafted, returned to UK and had to sit out a 14-game NCAA suspension.

"Last year was a tough one to get through. But it made me mentally tougher," Morris said. "I knew I was coming back to play this year. I had already made the mistake of taking my eligibility for granted and had my future questioned. All that made me appreciate what I have here a lot more. It made me want to be part of this program more. I knew all along I was coming back even when some kept doubting me."

Morris is also convinced his return is only part of the reason why the Wildcats are going to be vastly improved this year. "A lot of people have told me that we look great. That is good for us if people do underestimate us," he said. "We know and understand what we have to do as a team. There is no one person being singled out to have to be the best player and do everything. We need everybody on the team playing well to win games."

While that may not have been a shot at former UK point guard Rajon Rondo, there's little doubt every player perceived that Rondo got special treatment last year and was designated the team's star. Never mind that Rondo was UK's best player last year, it still seems obvious players didn't agree with the star treatment they felt he got.

No wonder Morris wanted no part of having anyone think he has to have a dominating year for the Cats to challenge for the SEC championship. "That is true that I do need to dominate, but for me to dominate, I am going to need all the rest of the guys on my team to do what they are supposed to do so I can dominate. I can't dominate without my team. What we need is to be dominating as a team, not individuals," Morris said.


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