UK Men's Basketball

Galloway starting to make an impact

Kentucky newcomer Kevin Galloway admitted he had been "scared." In the hairy-chested, bicep-flexing world of men's college basketball, this was a pardon-me admission.

He didn't mean shadowy-figure-in-the-dark scared. Or where-is-this-economy-headed fear. Apprehension about his playing time (in other words, his basketball self-esteem)? Yes, that gave Galloway an unsettled feeling.

"At first, I was scared of coming out of a game," he said. "I was scared (that) if I made a turnover, I was coming out.

"Now, I'm carefree. If I come out, I come out. But I'm going to go out there and play like I play, and play hard."

Galloway spoke after his play helped Kentucky zoom to a 15-0 lead en route to an easy victory over Tennessee State on Monday.

The game marked his fourth straight start, which teammate Patrick Patterson linked to Galloway's more productive play. Perhaps starting smoothed out the rough edges in Galloway's world as he adjusted from high school/junior college star to bench-warmer.

"I think it's a huge help," Patterson said of the effect starting had on Galloway. "He's always played and started back at his old place. Coming here, he wanted to play. He wanted to start, and he felt he should start."

As UK Coach Billy Gillispie fondly says, players get what they earn. In Galloway's situation, he turned over the ball too often to start (or even play in three of the Cats' first six games).

The more Gillispie emphasized the need to reduce turnovers, the more Galloway grew scared. Gillispie was not going to change. Galloway had to make the adjustment.

Patterson understood his teammate's apprehension.

"When you've got a coach saying, 'If you mess up, you're going to come out of the game,' that's always going to be on your mind," Patterson said. "You're going to be hesitant, a little tentative and a little scared.

"But you have to play the game you know how to play."

The Tennessee State game provided further evidence that Galloway is making the adjustment.

"Kevin does a lot of stuff that doesn't show up on the stat sheet," teammate Jodie Meeks said. "He hustles. He gets us going offensively and defensively at the start of games."

It helped simply to start.

"It's a great honor to just be here at UK," he said. "I'm going through the ropes and working to get better every day. It was a little tough at first, but Coach Gillispie is just trying to get the best out of us and get us to play to our potential."

In 14 minutes against Tennessee State, Galloway attempted his first three-point shot of the season. More importantly, he had four assists and a season-high five rebounds.

"He's playing with a great deal of confidence," Gillispie said. "I think he's playing great. He's getting in the paint and forcing help. He's got a knack for delivering passes with a lot of people around (and) into a very small area. (And he's) able to complete those passes."

Against Tennessee State, it was relatively easy to complete passes, as evidenced by Kentucky's 30 assists.

"We were laughing in the locker room about how easy it was to get assists tonight," Galloway said.

But one play early in the game rated a mention no matter the level of competition. All five UK players touched the ball as it whipped around the Tennessee State defense before Galloway took a pass in the lane and re-directed the ball to Perry Stevenson at the basket. Dunk!

When asked how such a sequence feels, Galloway said, "Man, I just feel good. I feel excited when a guy gets an easy dunk.

"It makes you feel good as a person."

Kentucky newcomer Kevin Galloway admitted he had been "scared." In the hairy-chested, bicep-flexing world of men's college basketball, this was a pardon-me admission.

He didn't mean shadowy-figure-in-the-dark scared. Or where-is-this-economy-headed fear. Apprehension about his playing time (in other words, his basketball self-esteem)? Yes, that gave Galloway an unsettled feeling.

"At first, I was scared of coming out of a game," he said. "I was scared (that) if I made a turnover, I was coming out.

"Now, I'm carefree. If I come out, I come out. But I'm going to go out there and play like I play, and play hard."

Galloway spoke after his play helped Kentucky zoom to a 15-0 lead en route to an easy victory over Tennessee State on Monday.

The game marked his fourth straight start, which teammate Patrick Patterson linked to Galloway's more productive play. Perhaps starting smoothed out the rough edges in Galloway's world as he adjusted from high school/junior college star to bench-warmer.

"I think it's a huge help," Patterson said of the effect starting had on Galloway. "He's always played and started back at his old place. Coming here, he wanted to play. He wanted to start, and he felt he should start."

As UK Coach Billy Gillispie fondly says, players get what they earn. In Galloway's situation, he turned over the ball too often to start (or even play in three of the Cats' first six games).

The more Gillispie emphasized the need to reduce turnovers ... or else, the more Galloway grew scared. Gillispie was not going to change. Galloway had to make the adjustment.

Patterson understood his teammate's apprehension.

"When you've got a coach saying, 'If you mess up, you're going to come out of the game,' that's always going to be on your mind," Patterson said. "You're going to be hesitant, a little tentative and a little scared.

"But you have to play the game you know how to play."

The Tennessee State game provided further evidence that Galloway is making the adjustment.

"Kevin does a lot of stuff that doesn't show up on the stat sheet," teammate Jodie Meeks said. "He hustles. He gets us going offensively and defensively at the start of games."

It helped simply to start.

"It's a great honor to just be here at UK," he said. "I'm going through the ropes and working to get better every day. It was a little tough at first, but Coach Gillispie is just trying to get the best out of us and get us to play to our potential."

In 14 minutes against Tennessee State, Galloway attempted his first three-point shot of the season. More importantly, he had four assists and a season-high five rebounds.

"He's playing with a great deal of confidence," Gillispie said. "I think he's playing great. He's getting in the paint and forcing help. He's got a knack for delivering passes with a lot of people around (and) into a very small area. (And he's) able to complete those passes."

Against Tennessee State, it was relatively easy to complete passes, as evidenced by Kentucky's 30 assists.

"We were laughing in the locker room about how easy it was to get assists tonight," Galloway said.

But one play early in the game rated a mention no matter the level of competition. All five UK players touched the ball as it whipped around and through the Tennessee State defense before Galloway took a pass in the lane and re-directed the ball to Perry Stevenson at the basket. Dunk!

When asked how such a sequence feels, Galloway said, "Man, I just feel good. I feel excited when a guy gets an easy dunk.

"It makes you feel good as a person."

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