Taylor's Thoughts: "Team Transition"

Jodie Meeks, injured. Derrick Jasper, on the mend. Alex Legion is no longer on the team. As with any kind of change, there comes a period of transition and the one under way at Kentucky is going to take some time. Therefore, patience is required for the remainder of the year.

There will be some big wins, narrow losses and everything in between along the way. Nothing is perfect when change is involved, especially for a big-time program like Kentucky.

However, losing to North Carolina by nine is easier to swallow than a double-digit setback to Gardner-Webb.

Even before Tubby Smith won a national championship in his first season at Kentucky nearly a decade ago, a transitional period was necessary, but obviously it was a brief one.

Smith also had more talent on hand than the team he left in Lexington.

Sure there's a lot of time between now and March, everything about basketball at Kentucky this season is transitional, from the administrators, coaches, players, the managers and even you, Joe Fan.

Unlike Smith, first-year Kentucky coach Billy Gillispie had no previous ties to Kentucky and didn't have an overload of talent to work with, partly because recruiting had slacked off during the latter days of the Smith era.

Gillispie also is likely finding out that coaching at Kentucky is probably a little different than the previous post he held at Texas A&M. The demands of the job aren't the same, simply because basketball isn't as revered at College Station as football.

Although Kentucky's returning players such as Joe Crawford and Ramel Bradley have played against the elite teams in the collegiate circles, even those two players are still learning under a different set of guidelines than newcomers such as Patrick Patterson.

Patterson doesn't know what UK basketball was before he arrived. All he knows is what he has experienced since he arrived on campus.

Gillispie is still finding his niche with this team, which is still in search of an identity.

Just refer to Billy Gillispie?s first squad at Kentucky as "Team Transition."

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