Former UK assistant on Tay Prince

Dave Hobbs still laughs a little when he thinks back to the telephone calls he got from NBA scouts and coaches a few years ago when Tayshaun Prince finished his Kentucky career. The knock on Prince was that he was soft -- and maybe didn't always play as hard as he should.

Dave Hobbs, then a Kentucky assistant, knew the scouts were wrong and anticipated many teams would regret letting Prince slip out of the top 20 picks before Detroit chose him and gave him a chance to blossom into a star on one of the NBA's most consistent teams.

"When Tayshaun was coming out, I told anyone who would listen that he had more of everything than they thought," Hobbs, who is now a scout with the Charlotte Bobcats, said. "I thought he was stronger than he looked. He was tougher than people thought. He was longer and competed harder. He was faster.

"But I understood it was somewhat hard to judge him because of his demeanor. He almost looked too effortless at times. He might not have always looked like he was playing hard, and sometimes it still looks that way. But he was effective and knew how to get things done."

Hobbs notices that has not changed as Prince has developed into a legitimate NBA star.

"At the end of the day, he is right there. Think about all the big plays he makes at the end of games," Hobbs said. "Tayshaun could be one of those guys that is around for a lot of years, which makes you feel good to know you may have had a small part in shaping his career.

"Sometimes people may think he defers too much to other players, but we really don't know what all he is asked to do. He's a guy that's not just having a cup of coffee in the league. He's a big-time player and as good as he's been, he could still get even better."

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