VAUGHT: Hood expects Gillispie to be back

Kentucky signee Jon Hood watched the Wildcats closely this season and stayed in constant contact with the UK coaching staff.

"I watched them plenty and really followed them. I talked to the assistant coaches quite a bit," Hood said.

Like UK fans, Hood thought the Cats would have a better season.

"I don't know what is going on. It has been a season of ups and downs for them. We are hoping they make run in the NIT. I do not understand how some teams got into the big dance and we didn't," said Hood, who obviously already considers himself a Wildcat.

While he admits he did visualize how he might help the team, he knows perception and reality can be different.

"We want to try and come in next year and change things up," Hood said. "I do not know where I can come in and help. But I want to come in and help."

Hood is confident Kentucky coach Billy Gillispie will be back next year in spite of the rumors to the contrary.

"He will be back. That is something I have talked to him about and believe in. I really feel that he will be back. That is not a worry for me," said Hood, who watched UK play several home games, including when it beat Tennessee. He talks to Patrick Patterson sometimes along with Mark Krebs. He hopes Patterson will be back to play with him next year and not in the NBA.

"I don't know if he will be back. I am kind of wondering. I hope he is. He has told me that he is, but you never know," Hood, who is scheduled to play in the Derby Festival Classic next month in Louisville, said.

Hood wishes his season, which was ended a week early by injury, could have been better.

"I had a pretty good year. It could have been better. I could have shot better and kept my turnovers downs," he said. "When you lose four of your five starters and seven seniors off a team, you going to be young. We had time to develop and just did not live up to expectations."

Hood plans to attend summer school at Kentucky and start working out with his future teammates.

"I can't wait for that," he said.

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