By LARRY VAUGHT
Former Kentucky basketball standout John Pelphrey has become an integral part of coach Avery Johnson’s staff at Alabama — which has not been a surprise to Alabama athletics director Greg Byrne.
“I really like him. He is genuinely a very good guy and a good coach. To Avery’s credit, putting him in the position that he has was good for Avery as a head coach and good for our program,” Byrne, a former assistant athletics director at UK, said.
“Who wouldn’t like him? Just as nice a guy as you will ever come across. The kids really like him. He cares about the kids and the game of basketball. He is top notch. We are lucky to have him.”
Pelphrey looks as fit as he did when he was one of “The Unforgettables” at Kentucky that lost that historic NCAA Tournament East Region final to Duke in overtime.
“He could absolutely play,” Byrne said.
Do the Alabama players know how good he was in college?
“I have to imagine when they go to Rupp and see his jersey hanging up there, I don’t care who you are that should say something to you,” Byrne said. “They know he is a great player just like Avery was a great player.”