Joe Crawford is never going to be a demonstrative leader for the UK basketball team. It's just not his style or demeanor. However, he thinks it is time for his experience and leadership to make sure the Wildcats don't let this season waste away.
"This is the toughest part of the year. Some teams are going to fall off. We can't be one of those teams. We have to stay with what we do best and keep our focus," said Crawford.
What keeps a team from falling off in February?
"It has to come in practice. We have to see in practice if we are ready to continue to play good basketball and ready to win a championship," Crawford said. "I think we are very close to that point. There have been times when we have showed that ability to compete with anybody. I don't think we are there, but we will eventually get there. But it needs to start coming in the next few games."
Maybe Crawford is being a bit optimistic given UK's recent play. However, let's not fault a junior who is leading the team in scoring during Southeastern Conference play for trying to keep a bit of swagger, something the Cats probably need as they prepare for a brutal stretch of games.
"Focus. That's what we have to do," Crawford said. "We really have to focus on taking care of the ball and continuing to play well on defense."
But should a lack of focus be a problem for a team with three juniors and three seniors in its playing rotation?
"That's always going to be a concern with any ball team. It is a long year. We have to regroup and continue to play well. We have to do the things we need to do to win games," Crawford said. "Experience helps us do that. We know that this is a time when the season gets long. We have to get our second wind and continue to win games. You can't let down or feel sorry for yourself now. You can't worry about what anybody else says. This is the time to buckle down, pay attention and play your best basketball. That's what the teams that finish the season well do and what we have to show that we can do."
Crawford says Cats need to "keep our focus"
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