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By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky coach Joker Phillips said there’s an obvious reason he’s been a little lower key this summer than the past two years.
“One of the things, I’ve only done a few speeches. Nobody has asked this year. Nobody has asked me to speak at anything. I guess you go 5-7 and that happens,” said Phillips. “What have I learned? I learned nothing is guaranteed.
“Again, I was one of the guys that put too much pressure on guys. I was one of them. You see a guy perform in practice and some guys can’t take it from practice to games. The thing we have to do as a coaching staff is get them to take it from practice to the game.”
Phillips lost players to graduation and transfer both off last year’s team and the Cats are being picked by most to finish last in the Southeastern Conference Eastern Division this year. However, Phillips thinks better team chemistry will “help tremendously” and that his team could be much better than many expect.
“Our basketball team we just saw was talented, no doubt about that. There might have been some more talented teams in the country and might not have been. But there wasn’t ever a team that has been here or in the country that was as together as those guys,” Phillips said. “I watched our baseball team. They had a great year. I talked to coach (Garry) Henderson and he said he liked his locker room.
“I like our locker room. I think it will have guys in there that will be good. The coach never knows who the locker room warriors are. The players know. Our players love our locker room and when we sit down with leaders of this football team, they love the chemistry that they have in that locker room and why we are so excited.”