VAUGHT: Porter can take the criticism

It doesn't matter whether you like the way Michael Porter plays or not. You have to admire the Kentucky junior, though, for his tenacity and team-first attitude.

Never once have I heard Porter proclaim himself to be an All-American point guard, or even an all-SEC performer. Instead, I've always heard him say that he was willing to fill any role the UK coaching staff had for him and all he wanted to do was win.

He was harshly criticized by many for his play in Kentucky's first two games — both losses. He knew fans were bashing him on message boards and call-in shows. But rather than hide, he openly took the blame after his solid eight-point performance in UK's win Saturday.

"I will take that blame. The turnovers I had in the first couple of games and not getting the team into offense, not being a good leader, not being confident shooting, those were all my fault. I won't deny that.

"There were just a lot of things that I didn't do in those games that I have to do better. A lot of things stem from point guard play on offense or defense. I will take the blame for us not playing well. I don't mind. It is a lot easier when you are a point guard and take the blame. You don't want a point guard ducking responsibility."

No you don't. Much like freshman quarterback Randall Cobb took the blame for losses to Vanderbilt and Georgia, Porter was willing to "man up" and take the heat.

Can he play better? Absolutely. Does he know that? Absolutely.

However, sometimes a player can only do so much and sometimes he can't make himself into something he's not. Try appreciating Porter for what he can do and also admiring him for having the courage to admit his shortcomings, face his critics and still care only about winning.

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