After losing the starting backcourt from a season ago, Kentucky is not only replacing points, rebounds and assists, but it's replacing two experienced floor leaders. Rajon Rondo logged an average of 31 minutes per outing last season, while his backcourt mate Patrick Sparks played 27 minutes per game last year. The two combined for 131 starts in the past two years.
So where does the leadership come from this year?
Senior forward, Bobby Perry feels he's in prime position to take a leadership role. "I'm up to the challenge," said Perry. "I feel great about the opportunity to be a team leader," he continued.
Perry, who started in 21 games for Kentucky last year, averaged a little less than eight points per game last year to go with 3.9 rebounds. The 6-foot-8 senior took his game to another level last year during NCAA tournament play. After scoring 22.5 points per game in the big dance, expectations are high for Perry.
"My confidence is high," said Perry. "It felt good to play well in the tournament, and I hope to carry it over into the season, this year."
"Bobby finished last year extremely well. He had a good summer and got to play some ball down in Brazil. I like the way he leads by example," said Tubby Smith.
Perry has carried over his hot streak into the preseason. Bobby netted 28 points in the annual Blue-White game, knocking down a blazing six three pointers, on ten attempts. Although it is only an intra-squad scrimmage, the confidence shown by the Durham, North Carolina native can only help this team improve during the regular season.
Behind the leadership of Perry and the other upperclassmen, how good can this team be?
"(We can be) as good as we want to be. I feel like this is a final four team. We just have to grind it out and play hard every night," Perry said.
For Kentucky to make a deep run in the tournament, Perry will have to be on his game, as he was during UK's tournament run.
Bobby Perry ready to step up
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