Porter excited about the 2008-2009 season

KSR's Larry Vaught recently spoke to veteran high school coach Gary Porter, father of Kentucky guard Michael Porter. Porter discusses what Michael is doing to prepare for the coming season, and why he is excited by the players that are coming in this season.

Since he is a veteran high school basketball coach, Gary Porter can relate to what his son — Kentucky junior guard Michael Porter — tells him about the value of a year in Billy Gillispie's system.

"Michael is enjoying the new group of players they have, but he says the work is a lot easier now that the older guys know what to expect," said Gary Porter. "It's easier for them to help train the younger guys coming in. He's really excited. He thinks they have a really good group for next year."

Kentucky is still waiting for junior college product Kevin Galloway to be full-time on campus. Like Michael Porter, he's a point guard.

"We know Galloway because we played against him in high school," Gary Porter said. "He is not a shooter. But he is a scorer. He can do a lot of things. He's very athletic. He's a very good passer. I hated to lose (Derrick) Jasper, but Galloway has some good skills."

While the status of freshman point guard DeAndre Liggins remains in academic limbo, Gary Porter says his son expects him to play.

"As far as I know, they are saying Liggins will be eligible. He is working with the team and Michael says he is a very good player," Gary Porter said.

Gary Porter says transfer Matt Pilgrim — who is working with the team even though he has not officially been added to the roster — has also impressed his son. "He says Pilgrim can really play," Gary Porter said.

Porter's son is doing plenty to improve himself. He's taking 1,500 3-point shots per week. He's raised his weight to about 200 pounds.

"He's really worked hard on his shooting and strength," Gary Porter said. "He is stronger than he looks. I know he did 22 reps (at 185 pounds each time) on bench press at one of their tests.

"He is excited about this upcoming season. If nothing else, he knows he'll be a big factor in practice and leading the team. He's even told me he has already taken on more of a leadership role since the team has no seniors.

"He wants to play and be a starter, but he wants to win more than he wants to start. Whatever his role is, that is what he will do. His role last year was to play defense and get the ball to Joe and Ramel. You can't have a whole team of All-Americans. You can have all the good athletes you want, but you have got to have a group of guys working together. Michael can do that, and wants to do that."


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