VAUGHT: Adjusting to new coach won't be easy

Kentucky seniors Bobby Perry and Sheray Thomas only played for one coach at Kentucky, but they know it will be hard for their former teammates to adjust to playing for a new coach now that Tubby Smith is gone and Billy Gillispie is running the program.

"I really don't know much about how the guys are doing. I have not met the new coach or anything myself. But it seems like that they are making the best of the situation they can. They are all upbeat and open minded," Thomas said.

"I couldn't imagine having to learn to play for a new coach, especially at Kentucky with all the pressure you already have. It will be real difficult, but that is college basketball. There is always change. There were changes in my four years with people coming and leaving. So you have to deal with it, and I am confident these guys will. I am sure there will be some hard times, but maybe change will be good. Now some guys might feel like they have a new chance or will be allowed to do more."

Perry says he talked to former UK star Jeff Sheppard, who played for Rick Pitino and then helped Tubby Smith win a national title in Smith's first year at Kentucky.

"I think the players are going to be fine with the new coach. It can't be easy to have a coaching change, but I was talking to Jeff Sheppard about that. He went through it and they came out fine and won a national championship. But he said it will be hard on the players, and coaches, at first," Perry said. "I do think all the guys like the new coaches and seem to respect them. That's important."

Perry said the biggest shock came when Smith left because no one was expecting that based on what Smith had told the players.

"It did surprise me some that coach Smith left. It surprised everybody," Perry said. "I didn't know anything about it until the day it happened. None of us did. It really hit the guys coming back hard then. They didn't know what the future would be like. But they will adjust and move on. Actually, I think they are already doing that and by next year, everything will be fine."


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