Senior Bobby Perry doesn't mind admitting that Kentucky's team chemistry was less than desirable last year. That's not a startling revelation except Perry is willing to admit it publicly while other players have shied away from saying that.
"I think it was evident last year that we were not as together as we could have been. I think this year it will change a lot with the leadership we have," Perry said.
"We are coming together more, and it started in the summer. We are getting the same mindset and a winning mentality with only one goal in mind -- winning a national championship," Perry said.
Was that not the case last year when the Cats lost 13 games, didn't win the Southeastern Conference and won only one game in the NCAA Tournament?
"Our talent level last year was definitely Final Four caliber. We all know that, or should," Perry said. "But for whatever reason, our chemistry just wasn't there. The team chemistry and togetherness never clicked and that kept us from being the best team we could have been."
When did that become obvious to Perry? Was it early in the year, midseason or closer to tournament time?
"To a certain extent, it was obvious all year. It wasn't always just an individual agenda thing," Perry said. "Things like Randolph (Morris) not come back until late and not getting the team on the right track. We had different lineup changes that created distractions. We don't have those this year and we are looking for a smooth transition into the season, which is going to be a huge help."
There's other help available, too, from a somewhat unexpected source -- freshmen Jodie Meeks, Derrick Jasper, Michael Porter and Perry Stevenson.
"They have been huge. When freshmen come in with the right mindset and willingness to learn and listen to older guys and the coaches and accept their roles, it helps tremendously," Perry said. "They have been a pleasure to be around and there's no doubt they have made a big difference in our team chemistry."
Perry admits chemistry was a problem
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