DEMAREE-Gillispie expects more from Stevenson

When Patrick Patterson had to make an exit due to his stress fracture in his foot, forward Perry Stevenson felt it incumbent upon him to adopt more of an assertive role in the offense. Hence we started to see the evolution of Stevenson in playing more of a role in the offense. Consequently, the Wildcat basketball team started to show it could be competitive at the highest level of the SEC.

"It doesn't change anything as for as my role," stated Stevenson immediately after Patterson went down. "I don't think I can do much more than just come in and play hard. It is an obstacle and we've been having them all season."

Now Billy Gillispie demands more in the area of leadership from Stevenson since this is going to be such an inexperienced team. He believes that athletically, they will be better and have more options and will be a longer (height) team.

Gillispie talked about Patterson getting as many touches in the high post as in the low post. "We will probably utilize him more in the high post because of the emergence of Perry," Gillispie explained. "I think Perry Stevenson has really, really, really emerged. I thought he had a real good season last year but think he's taken another step forward this spring and summer with leadership and probably feeling confident he can be a leader.

"He always thought he was just going to be one of the guys. Perry plays with a lot of confidence now. Now he thinks he can be the guy. I think he is a maturing individual, a maturing college student and a maturing basketball player and his confidence is at an all time high. We're asking he to do different things and along the leadership thing. And he's done a real good job of accepting that I have to do more."

Gillispie said that at one time interior play was considered a weakness for UK but they ended up the year it being a pretty good strength for them though not as deep as he would've liked for them to have been. Going into this season with Stevenson and the expected return to full strength of Patterson, Gillispie believes it is going to be a strength for them but Stevenson is going to be essential to that improvement.

"I think for all of us you have to understand you do belong and I can be successful," he said in reference to Stevenson. "And proving that over time you just get better and better and better. Sometime when you are not totally confident, you are just out there swimming like crazy trying to stay afloat worried about one person and that's yourself. Now when you know that you are going to be able to swim to shore, now you might try to go save someone else. I think that's where he's kind of at."

Gillispie said that confidence hasn't been built on what somebody said to him but rather an extended period of success. Kudos to Stevenson. He's miles and miles from where he was when we first saw him in the Derby Classic All-Star game in Freedom Hall in Louisville, Kentucky.

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