VAUGHT: Perry won't abandon goals

Senior Bobby Perry knows his playing time at Kentucky is coming to an end, but he's not about to abandon his dream — and preseason goal — of reaching the Final Four despite UK's recent struggles.

"It is a tough time to be struggling. We know what we are capable of. We have to stay together and it is my job as a senior to see that we do. We set a goal to make the Final Four and not settle for anything less before the season started. My job is to keep everyone focused on that," said Perry.

"I am not a holler guy. I believe in showing love and compassion. I focus on the positive. We all make mistakes. We have to pick each other up. That is everyone's job on the team. It's not my job to holler or get down on my teammates." Perry appreciates the opportunities he's had at Kentucky.

"I have learned so much. It really humbles you because this is a special place. So much has been accomplished here," Perry said. "When you win, the times are great and you are on top of the world. When times are tough, you want to crawl in a hole.

"You've got to realize people before you here did great things and you have to do your best to match that. There is a lot of pressure put on you, but your teammates and coaching staff make it easy to get through that.

"We all want our last year to be the best and say we saved the best for life. I hope we are. It is not over yet. Last year did not end on the right note. Right now is a tough time, but we just have to find a way to go to the SEC Tournament and try to win it and carry that momentum to the NCAA."

Perry obviously will leave Kentucky with a special place in his heart for coach Tubby Smith.

"Playing for Tubby has been great. Tubby has really taught me a lot. On the court, he's taught me more than I can even think about. Watching him, and the relationship we have, has taught me a lot about life in general. He has been very influential in my development and I appreciate that," Perry said.

Perry knows his final home game against Georgia will be emotional. But he looks at it as another step in his life.

"You know it will end eventually. You get at peace with yourself . It has to happen," he said. "Senior Night is going to be emotional. I remember the last time I played on my high school court. It is sad when you leave something. It is really a tough time. I do not want it to end, but it has to. I just hope we put on a good show for everybody."

Perry put on a brilliant show for everyone in the NCAA Tournament last year and may have had his best back-to-back games at Kentucky. Repeating that effort this March would be nice, but he envisions a better scenario.

"I had a great tournament last year, but I would trade every single point to make the Final Four. I am going to do all in my power as a person and player to make that happen," Perry said. "At Kentucky, you are judged by winning. I'm not going to give up. Every time I step on the floor I give it all I have. Some games I have not played my best game, but every game or practice I have given my all. That's not going to change."

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