Maybe having already played for three college teams, basketball nomad Kevin Galloway could sense his days as a Kentucky Wildcat were numbered.
So when new UK coach John Calipari told him last week that his basketball future would be best served elsewhere, Galloway was ready to accept that advice.
"I was already getting mentally ready for it when the coaching change was made," Galloway said on Saturday. "I got mentally prepared for the worst. I'm not frustrated."
After becoming a star for Sacramento (Calif.) High, Galloway played 13 games for Southern California (2.8 ppg and 2.0 rpg). Then he went to the College of Southern Idaho for a season (8.4 ppg and 8.4 apg) before coming to Kentucky last year as part of then-coach Billy Gillispie's roster alterations.
But when UK fired Gillispie and hired Calipari this spring, Galloway knew it might be time for his gym shoes to be wandering.
"From day one," he said. "With Coach Cal, I knew he'd bring in a lot of players. I prepared for the worst."
When it came to new players, Calipari brought in quality as well as quantity. Most recruiting observers rated UK's incoming class the nation's best. However, Kentucky needed to drop several players to fit its roster within the NCAA's 13-scholarship limit. Earlier this spring, it became known that Donald Williams, A.J. Stewart and Jared Carter would not be returning next season. Then last week, two more players — Matt Pilgrim and Galloway — headed for the exit.
Galloway expressed appreciation for how Calipari let him know it was best to leave. The UK coach mixed sober assessment with big-picture rationality.
"He didn't actually kick me off," Galloway said. "He was just really real with me."
Calipari wrapped reality around Galloway's NBA aspirations. Galloway had a chance to make an NBA roster someday, the UK coach told him. But he'd have to play a lot to maximize those chances.
Galloway averaged 10 minutes (and 1.9 points) per game last season for Kentucky. A load of minutes next season seemed unlikely.
"He felt I wasn't going to play 30, 35, 40 minutes a game," Galloway said. "Instead of sitting there in January and February thinking Cal (screwed) me, he didn't want that. That's man talk. I can respect that."
Galloway is not picky about a destination nor in any hurry to make a decision.
His first priority is to return to Sacramento to be with his family. A brother recently received a 10-year prison sentence, Galloway said, so he wants to comfort his mother.
His landing spot in basketball could be practically anywhere.
"I'm wide open," he said, meaning that more literally than most prospects. "Division I. Division II. NAIA. Overseas. D-league."
Galloway simply wants to play. But, he added, no matter where he goes and how much he plays, he'll miss the support of Kentucky fans.
"Make sure you say the Kentucky fans are the greatest of all time," Galloway said. "Because every day I saw fans, they were always telling me they loved the way I played and they wanted me to stay."
The love affair of seldom-used player and devoted fan base began in the days leading up to Big Blue Madness, Galloway said. That's when he visited with fans waiting for tickets and played games such as cornhole with them.
Now, he'll pack those memories and carry them to the next basketball stop.