VAUGHT: Bradley still believes

Ramel Bradley knows he could help determine whether UK beats Villanova Friday with his defense rather than his offense.

Villanova's catalyst is freshman point guard Scottie Reynolds, who figures to be too quick for Derrick Jasper to defend. That could put Bradley on him a lot. If he keeps Reynolds from scoring and/or penetrating inside to set up teammates, UK could win. If Reynolds is able to dominate, Kentucky likely will be in trouble.

Bradley still thinks UK could play well in the NCAA Tournament.

"We have lost a lot of close games. I feel like is has been very frustrating. I put myself at ease by saying that we improved a whole lot more this year from last year. I feel like if we have a strong postseason, it will all be worthwhile even though parts of the season have not been enjoyable because of the losses," Bradley said.

Is a strong NCAA merely wishful thinking or could it really happen?

"It is something that could really happen. I believe it, and I believe in this team. I'm not ready to give up," Bradley said.

Still, he has to know at times that he has not played well, especially when he has tried to do too much during a game.

"Sometimes I think I did feel the pressure and try to do too much," Bradley admitted. "I think everybody on this team believes and knows what we are capable of doing it. It is just a matter of getting on the floor and getting the job done.

"No matter what we read or hear, we can't let that impact us. We just can't. If we begin to believe what other people believe, then there is no sense in us even having a team. We still have to believe we can win the national championship. Why play if we don't think that? We know we have to play well, but we have to believe we can."

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