Vaught: One-on-One with Perry Stevenson

Freshman Perry Stevenson had been off limits to the media since mid-October before being allowed to share his thoughts after UK's win over Auburn. Here's a question and answer I did with the engaging freshman who certainly shows that he not only has a sense of humor, but that he also understands the big picture of Kentucky basketball.

Freshman Perry Stevenson had been off limits to the media since mid-October before being allowed to share his thoughts after UK's win over Auburn. Here's a question and answer I did with the engaging freshman who certainly shows that he not only has a sense of humor, but that he also understands the big picture of Kentucky basketball.

Do you struggle with other players being stronger and knocking you around?

Stevenson: I hear from coaches, ‘Use your quickness. Use your quickness. Your strength will come later.' I am still working on that. Just trying to do that and not get bounced around.

Is it hard not getting to play as much and adjust to that?

Stevenson: I don't think so. Coach has his subbing strategies. He puts me in there when he has to, and we have been winning so I have no problem with it. It's not really different, but maybe we could say different from 35 minutes to what playing what I am now. But I am just doing what I can do help the team win.

Why are you not playing as much now?

Stevenson: The competition has definitely improved. Since we are in the SEC, I am hearing it is the toughest conference and I am feeling it, too.

Why do you come out so quick in some games?

Stevenson: Every time I come out I always think I did something wrong that I can improve on. But when I get to the sideline, coach says, "Good job." So I assume it is because I am tired. It's probably rebounding or defensive position and not in good position. Most of the time it is because I am exhausted, it is a lot of running."

Are practices getting harder?

Stevenson: That has been tough, especially when we were doing two a days. One practice is enough with guys like Randolph and Woo. They put a beating on you.

Do they like putting a beating on you?

Stevenson: I think they do because they kind of smile after every time they do it.

Have you hit a freshman wall yet?

Stevenson: It is just the whole idea of adjusting to it.

Have you ever been unhappy since you have been here?

Stevenson: Not at all. I am just enjoying college.

Do you do a lot of weight training now?

Stevenson: We do what we can. But we don't want to get too rigorous right now and wear down. We do what we can.

Are you a better offensive player now than when you arrived?

Stevenson: Definitely because I am a lot stronger. It may not look like it, but I can definitely feel it.

What areas do you still need to improve on offensively this season?

Stevenson: Probably shooting farther away from the basket. A dunk is a lot easier than a 3-pointer.

What kind of shooting range do you have?

Stevenson: I tell Coach Smith I can shoot from half-court. I will stick with the free throw line extended.

Does he agree with your half-court range?

Stevenson: No, I have to show him. Not in practice, but usually after I take a few jump shots.

Can you shoot that far away?

Stevenson: I can, but I don't know if it will go in. I can definitely shoot it.

Has your confidence improved from two weeks ago?

Stevenson: Two weeks ago it was approaching the roof, now it is pretty much through it.

Do the players have a nickname for you?

Stevenson: Mostly the older guys call me Pogo. They just think it is funny and I let it go. Hopefully I can live up to that nickname.

Could be called worst names?

Stevenson: I have thought about that, too.

What have you learned the most since you have been at UK?

Stevenson: Probably ...., that is hard to say because I have learned so much. It is kind of hard to pinpoint one thing. I have learned stuff from Randolph and Woo, and even the guards. Their shots are hard to block. In the game it is kind of easy to do.

It doesn't seem like much bothers you?

Stevenson: No, I just try to keep a cool demeanor all the time. I don't get too excited or too down.

You do not seem bothered by Tubby's demeanor?

Stevenson: My high school coach was pretty tough on us, and let us hear about it every time we made a mistake, so we didn't make too many. That was high school level. Mistakes are going to come at this level, and you will definitely hear Coach Smith tell you about it. But he just wants you to do better.


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