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Florida assistant coach John Pelphrey question sa call during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Arkansas in Gainesville, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013.  Florida defeated Arkansas 71-54. (AP Photo/Phil Sandlin)

Florida assistant coach John Pelphrey question sa call during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Arkansas in Gainesville, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013. Florida defeated Arkansas 71-54. (AP Photo/Phil Sandlin)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Paintsville’s John Pelphrey was one of “The Unforgettables” at Kentucky that lost that memorable 1992 NCAA Tournament game to Duke on Christian Laettner’s buzzer-beating shot in overtime in 1992 that propelled the Blue Devils to the national title and denied coach Rick Pitino and his Cats a chance to win a championship. Now Pelphrey is back at Florida as an assistant coach to Billy Donovan after a stint as a head coach. The Gators won the Southeastern Conference regular-season title and beat LSU here Friday to advance to the SEC tourney semifinals.

Pelphrey shared a few UK memories based on questions UK fans submitted for him on Twitter.

Question: Do you dread or enjoy coming back to Rupp Arena as a coach of an opposing team?
Pelphrey: “I would say it is a different feeling. Obviously, it is a very difficult place to play, but a lot of memories come flooding back to me when we get to the parking lot and are walking into the arena. It is probably for me just a real unique experience. Most of the time when you walk into an arena, you are very focused on what is going on but I do have some stuff that goes on with me. I did play there for five years.”

Question: Have you been around a better Rupp Arena crowd than the one to end the season when UK upset Florida?
Pelphrey: “It was awesome. It really was. I think a lot of times it is a different perspective when you are sitting over there and playing on the other side. I probably am not the best guy to judge on that because you miss a lot as somebody in the battle. But it was a great crowd. Nod doubt about that.”

Question: Do you want to be a head coach again?
Pelphrey: “I am enjoying what I am doing, but I have aspirations certainly of being a head coach again. There is a lot I like. I am still passionate about the game and having relationships with young people and enjoying the challenges.”

Question: Will you ever be back living or coaching in Kentucky?
Pelphrey: “I don’t know. I don’t have a crystal ball.”

Question: Do you still consider yourself a Wildcat?
Pelphrey: “Absolutely. That will never change.”

Question: Do you still think about that NCAA game with Duke, especially each March?
Pelphrey: “It shows up enough (on TV) to where I see enough to where you get reminded about it. And I have a lot of responsibilities to take care. I have a family and job, so it doesn’t bother me to the point that it used to.”

Question: Do you miss Paintsville?
Pelphrey: “It is always going to be home. Will always miss is.”

Question: How is your golf game?
Pelphrey: “Not bad. I haven’t played a whole lot. I did get a chance to go Pebble Beach last August and I fired a little 79. So that’s not bad.”

8 Responses to Florida assistant coach John Pelphrey on Rupp Arena, Laettner shot, UK and golf game

  • Larry Pup says:

    John is one of us. He will always be special to UK fans. I wish him the best. I hope he gets a head coaching job real soon.

  • LindaS says:

    Once a Wildcat, Always a Wildcat AND I Still Hate Laettner and always will!

  • BobbyBlue says:

    If the present group as individuals each had Pelfreys resolve,Ky certainly wouldn’t be worried about being on anybodys bubble…he gave it his best every game,and survived R Ps criticism,and antics.
    One of my favorites over 55 years of watching,and I am disapopointed for him that he couldn’t get it done at Ark,and hope he soon gets another chance

  • Spike says:

    A 79 at Pebble? Not bad for a Johnson County boy.

  • From Paintsville to Pebble Beach, gotta love that !

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