VAUGHT: Crawford ready to be a leader

Accepting a leadership role has never been Joe Crawford's priority at Kentucky. However, now that he's a senior, he knows he has to accept the role and he's looking forward to it.

"I am excited about it. It is tough sometimes. You are responsible for everything that gets done, but I think it will make me a better player and better person," Crawford said. "I wasn't comfortable with being a leader coming in, especially since I had so much hype. We had older guys that were just as good or better than me. But I have grown into more of a leader.

"I think it is harder for me off the court trying to be a leader. You have to keep track of what people are doing knowing they can do anything. You can't worry about your life as much because you have to make sure what everyone else is doing. On the court, I am a little more comfortable. It's kind of natural there but to tell others what to do off the court, that is a little different for me."

Yet Crawford eagerly admits he's setting high goals for this team and talks openly with other players about a big season.

"We talk about winning a national title all the time. We are going to work the hardest to hopefully achieve that goal. After all, that's one of the big reasons I came here," Crawford said.

"At Kentucky, every year we are going to have a talented group that can contend for SEC and national championships. Whether we work hard enough and bond and become a team, that is what it comes down to. If the younger guys work and learn from the older players, the sky is the limit this year. It really is."

Crawford thinks new coach Billy Gillispie has forced the players to work harder.

"It has been a change. We definitely have worked a lot harder. I think the biggest difference is the players adjusting to the change. You get used to doing things a certain way. Now we are all learning each other. Once we are all on the same page, we will have a special team. I really believe that," Crawford said.

AllWildcats Top Stories