WALKER: Football success can help basketball

There is no question all the excitement about football could be good for the Kentucky basketball team. You didn't hear anything at all about basketball until (Big Blue) Madness, and we had a nice turnout. I think they gave Billy Gillispie, and Rich Brooks, great standing ovations.

I am sure the football team's success has given Billy Gillispie more of a chance to work behind the scenes and get out of the limelight without everybody asking him all kind of questions. Hopefully when we do turn our attention to basketball, he will have his guys ready to go.

I think basketball and football can play off each other's success. I think the football coaches use basketball a lot to lure recruits here. The basketball can do the same with football. If you are Billy Gillispie, you need to say, ‘Look at the success these guys are having in football. We need to go out there and so that.' More importantly, if you want to turn it into some friendly competition, you say, ‘People are now saying this is a football town. Let's go show them we can be a good basketball team, too.'

But there is no rule that says you can't be good in both. I hope that Kentucky can do that. These football and basketball players are on campus together. Some are in the same classes. They know each other. I am quite sure the basketball players are happy these guys are playing well, but they are competitors. When Bradley, Crawford, Patterson and those guys hit the court, they are going to be proud to put on uniform and play Kentucky basketball. It has impressed me how these basketball guys have some since of history. Patterson has talked about older guys talking to the team, and it means something to them.

But there's nothing like the success the football team has had to make the time until basketball a lot better for everyone and I'm one that sure wants to see it continue.

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