By LARRY VAUGHT
Some have questioned Kentucky freshman guard Tyrese Maxey’s defensive ability. However, he’s always been known as a solid defender and his father, Tyrone Maxey, thinks he’s done well this year.
“I think he is a hell of a defender. He pays attention to details. In a full game he may make five mistakes but you can depend on him to try and prevent a guy from catching the ball, keep a guy in front of him. He competes defensively,” the UK freshman’s father, a former high school and college coach, said.
“He will really get after you. Some people did not really know how good a defender he is and are now seeing it on the big stage. I always told him if offense dictates what type of player you are, then you are not very good. You have got to defend as well. I am really impressed with his defensive effort.”
Same with rebounding where Maxey is not only willing to battle, but shown he can take a defensive rebound and start a fast break immediately.
“That is a high priority for him to rebound. I have been coaching him since he was in second grade. We lost a state AAU final when we gave up an offensive rebound to lose the game. I have been pounding that in his head over and over ever since then. I have always told him his stock will rise if he rebounds the ball,” Tyrone Maxey said.
One reason Maxey’s parents were happy with his college choice was because they knew he would be pushed by Calipari and his staff — and that’s exactly what has happened. Several times during Saturday’s win over Alabama the UK coach really got into Maxey and chided him for making “high school plays” after the win.
“I thought he would be okay. He is fine with high stakes and then getting on him a lot. They (UK coaches) really get after him now,” Tyrone Maxey said. “He is doing well with it. I am proud of him. He is a good kid. I appreciate what they are doing for him. It is going to make him better. He knows that.
“He is having a ball at Kentucky. He always wanted to be here and experiencing it has just made it even better. He enjoys the campus. He is living the dream and we couldn’t be happier for him.”