Having decided to transfer to Morehead State, former Kentucky walk-on Landon Slone wants to appeal the NCAA rule requiring him to sit out one season.
Slone, who announced the commitment to Morehead State on Wednesday, said he could base the appeal on the involuntary nature of his transfer. UK's coaching change forced the decision, he said.
"It was kind of set on me," he said. "I had to leave."
Slone, a former All-State player for Paintsville High School, became a fan favorite in his one season at UK. Late last month, he noted how former UK coach Billy Gillispie had spoken more than once about possibly putting him on scholarship next season.
Then UK fired Gillispie and hired John Calipari, who did not share his predecessor's enthusiasm for walk-on players. Slone got the message that he might need to look for another program when he failed repeatedly to arrange a meeting with Calipari. Then a UK assistant advised Slone to act on any other options.
Besides saying he sat for an extended period in the coaches' office area hoping to meet with Calipari, Slone declined to discuss the circumstances of his departure from UK.
"That's past," he said. "I'll always be a big (UK) fan. Someday when I have kids, I want them to be big fans.
"I love those guys. Pat (Patterson), Jodie (Meeks), Josh (Harrellson)."
In considering his options, Slone sounded fully convinced that Morehead State represented the best choice. It's close to home so family and friends can watch him play. And, Slone said, Coach Donnie Tyndall has elevated Morehead State's basketball profile, taking the school to the NCAA Tournament last season.
Slone also liked the idea that Morehead State is contracted to open the next three seasons at Kentucky, not because he thirsts for revenge but because he wants to relive the experience of playing in Rupp Arena.
"Morehead State was leaps and bounds ahead of anybody I was talking to," Slone said, "especially in what would make me happy."
Slone noted how Tyndall is "building a program in the perfect direction." He said he watched the Eagles play last season and noticed how the players had fun.
"I came into a bad situation at Kentucky," he said.
Instead of living out a lifelong dream at UK, Slone got entangled in the school's first team to miss the NCAA Tournament since 1991 and a subsequent coaching change.
"We just weren't a good team in any aspect," Slone said.
Slone spoke of an expanded role at Morehead State, where he'll have an academic scholarship his first season and a basketball scholarship thereafter.
"I'll go back to my old ways," he said. "An all-around shooting guard."
But Slone did not envision a complete change.
"I still have the same goals of making the NCAA Tournament," he said, "and becoming the best player I can be."