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Kerry Blackshear gives Florida opportunity “to play a little different” this year

Kerry Blackshear could really give Florida fans something to cheer about this season. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

If Kerry Blackshear had transferred from Virginia Tech to Kentucky, there’s little doubt that John Calipari’s team would have been ranked No. 1 going into this season. Instead, he picked Florida, his home state, and now some are expecting the Gators to finish ahead of UK in the Southeastern Conference race.

“He’s very talented. He’s smart. He understands the game at a high level,” Florida coach Mike White said Tuesday at his team’s Media Day. “He’s tough. He’s stronger than he looks. He looks strong, but he’s really strong, and he’s difficult to defend. He’s a good defender, as well.

“He gives us an opportunity to play a little bit differently offensively than we’ve played here in that we’ve struggled to score on the interior. We’ve struggled at times to get to the foul line, to throw it in the post. He’s the best passing big that I’ve coached. He’s good at a lot of things.”

Yes he is. That’s why he was considered the nation’s best graduate transfer much like Stanford’s Reid Travis was a year earlier when he picked Kentucky.

Blackshear, like Travis, contemplated going to the NBA. Blackshear, like Travis, opted to stay in college and chase a national championship at Florida where he joins a roster loaded with young talent.

“Kerry could have left (for the NBA). He had a degree. He could have — there was probably a line of people willing to offer him a contract to play professionally. He wanted to pursue a graduate degree here, and he wanted a chance to play for a really, really good team and be a big part of that,” White said.

“There’s not a big sell to K.J. In fact, he passed up an open shot the other day, yesterday, that I wasn’t too happy about, and I let him know it, and he understood it. He’s so unselfish. He’s leery of stepping on toes. He wants to gel so badly that you can see he’s probably overthinking it a little bit.

“Really unselfish, super skilled — a couple of these other guys we’ve got to rein in a little bit, but I don’t have that worry with him. He wants Florida to win. He’s in a good place right now. If we’ve got 14 that want Florida to win more than anything else, then we’ve got a chance.”

Again, sounds like the same attitude Travis had and Kentucky fans know how well that worked out for the Wildcats and is a big reason not to discount the Gators’ chances for having a special season.

22 comments

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  1. Ah…..what might have been. White probably needs tough, strong more than Cal does. We will be just fine with Nick and E.J.

  2. Nick has the talent, just go back to his play in the Bahamas last year…but Calipari wasn’t coaching those games. When Calipari started coaching the team, Nick fell apart. Hmmmm, there is something fishy going on in Lexington. EJ needs to take off his dress and come to play like a man. These two should be an awesome frontcourt, but it has to happen on the floor. It seems that Cal’s coaching style holds Nick back and doesn’t prod EJ enough. That has to change this year if I am to disappear from this site forever.

    1. PLEASE…Talk your little buddy into taking the bet.
      It’s not too late.😂

      1. Hornet, where is your leader…Captain Rah Rah? Talk about shrinking away from the ultimate challenge…but I guess that is what blowhards do. At least you were stupid enough to take it. It will be fantastic to see you disappear into oblivion.

        1. Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.
          One thing is certain, I will honor my end of the bet.
          Will YOU ?

    2. I will take the bet also. But you have to prove you are actually an ex UK player not just a ridiculous troll. And if you want to meet some real fans come join me at the annual convention of the Rah Rah Brotherhood {also known as BBM campout). Or just take a quick look at the start of tent city on the UK website. I am the guy holding up his hands in a joyous scream to celebrate getting my tent on line 7 in the 1st position at the end of the video. The tent is green and white. Heck I invite any of the VV faithful to come and see the TRUE UK FANS. And that includes you Mike and your little friend. Rah Rah Rah

      1. So glad you are there again UKFMLY

        1. Me too. Having a great time meeting players from soccer to women’s volleyball. It’s not just about BB at BBM. If you like I will send a small summary Saturday after I recover. The older I get the longer it takes. LOL

          1. Would love that and especially about the non-basketball athletes you met

          2. Send a photo or two if you want as well

      2. UKFMLY,
        My private life is mine and I will not have a bunch of Rah Rahs invading it. The bet stands as I stated it. Take it or leave it. I don’t think you have to stones to step up to the bet.

        1. Dukefandoo,

          No one wants to know about your private life. You can verify who you are with the best sports writer in Kentucky. I am sure he will keep your name a secret. If you are who you say you are. I have serious doubts thought. You my friend are the one with no stones. Prove who you are and it’s a bet. I understand why you don’t want the world to know who you are. Clowns always hide behind makeup. Prove it to LV and he can let us know. If you have the stones. Rah Rah Rah

  3. How we lost this guy to Fla with all we have to offer is baffling. Why Cal can’t recruit bigs any more is a huge concern. We need one more still and I don’t think there are any left anywhere. Cal is concerned but won’t let on. 3 bigs is not enough especially as foul proned as Nick and EJ are. We win it all with KB.

    1. don, the bigs don’t come here because Calipari’s offense is geared to wings. He has wasted the talent of so many bigs that the good ones now go to other schools. That will be his ultimate downfall.

      1. I am back boys. Had a few health issues, read it and weep.

        Catmandoo, us real fans all know you didn’t get anywhere near a UK uniform. If you did you would tell us all about it with your “ego.” That has already been covered, lol.

        Now, if Blackshear didn’t want UK, then they don’t need him. The three bigs UK already have on the team now, have experience , and are war ready in Calipari’s system. Plus all the inbound talent UK has, thanks to Calipari, will be the ticket to No. 9. When that happens, us real fans will declare open season on you and old Mike. Mike, by the way, is always and easy target. You two are way out on a limb, and it is about to break. I am surprised you are not pushing coach White to replace our HOF coach instead of your man Donovan. You sort of sound like a Gator to me.

        1. Pup….only you would be blind and delusional to think, let alone say, that Nick and EJ are “war ready” Apparently you still haven’t sobered up..LOL

          1. See what I mean folks, Mike and the Catman are so hoping UK and this next Calipari edition fails. They deep down want that. Instead of just waiting to let the season unfold, they begin to berate and attack UK players, and their HOF coach, almost on a daily basis. No, I won’t partake in the Catman’s silly bet. Why? because I could lose, that is possible, and I want to be around to torment these two experts every chance I get. lol.

  4. Great post UKFMLY…admire that you make space and room for all Big Blue Fans, regardless of their varying opinions. Personally, I find nothing wrong with the frustration and bashing that some of our posters point out in their desire for better outcomes, since I realize that regardless of all the championships and record breaking statistics, I’ve suffered more pain than pleasure being a true BBN fan. I’ve changed course and find BBN interesting because of Tent Campers like you UKFMLY, and Mike , who keep my interest and curiosity going-GO BIG BLUE !

    1. Very well said. You are a very stabilizing influence on here, and I appreciate your contributions very much.

  5. Catmandoo , there you go attacking EJ you got lot of nerve talking like that. So if you are man enough that is big if give us your credit as a ex UK basketball player. Put youe mouth weres it’s two cents worth. I bet your blowing smoke as always. Have a good day

  6. Just what I thought Catmanndoo!!!

  7. One thing is certain…
    If Catmandoo wants to save face and remain a contributor on this forum, he’s no doubt rooting for Kentucky to have a somewhat lackluster season.
    That doesn’t typify a loyal fan, in my opinion, and it says a lot about his character and why he posts on this forum. Catmandoo is obviously an anti-UK troll and now everyone can plainly see it. He simply wants to agitate the UK fans who frequent Vaught’s Views.
    I, on the other hand, am rooting for UK to make it all the way to the Final Four and win their 9th National Championship. I’m sure every bonafide Kentucky fan agrees with me on that point.

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