For the second straight game, Joe Crawford is dead set on honoring the "Y" and that doesn't mean the traditional "Y" that former Hall of Fame head coach Joe Hall did on the end of the cheerleader formation of the word Kentucky at center court. That means that for the second straight game Crawford is playing like he doesn't feel he needs to force the issue in trying to score. And the "Y" instead stands for YOU meaning his teammates that have to be in involved for them to win big games. Yeah, this writer knows that in "coach speak" every game is a big game, such as the one they won by a convincing margin over Auburn University 84-57.
Crawford is starting to play like he was supposed to play when coming to UK as a McDonald's All-American. Coach Tubby Smith said recently that Crawford is healthy this year as opposed to last year when he had an assortment of nagging injuries holding him back.
When observing his play, it is evident that he's playing more relaxed yet still playing hard. Crawford was asked if he suddenly felt more relaxed on the court. "When shots are falling, you feel a little more relaxed and let the game come to you," Crawford explained, referring to his recent scoring success.
Crawford was also asked how his recent play made him feel. "It makes me feel like I can come out any night and do this."
In earlier games this year, Crawford seemed to feel like he had to get his points and perhaps now he has realized he doesn't have to press and that if he plays hard and does all the little things, that at the end of the night the points will be there and more importantly, the win for his team.
Crawford said when the shots fall early it opens up the game for them because they are a defensive team. It allows everybody to get involved.
Crawford said that even though he can come out and score twenty any night he won't allow himself to fall back in to that overly assertive mode. He said: "Anybody on this team can step up and score twenty points, Bobby (Perry), Ramel (Bradley) or Randolph (Morris). You just have to let the game come to you. I don't need to force it."
Early in the year the action got bogged down and the younger players on this team often provided the spark. And now the veterans on the team are stepping it up and assuming the role of leading this team. "Sometimes it is going to be games when they are going to need to step up," a looser and happier Crawford said. Meaning they are going to have to do the "Y" (you) for the Wildcats to win like they won 84-57 over Auburn University.
Joe Crawford's game honoring the "Y"
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