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9 > Image 9 of Basketball, 1980

Part of University of Kentucky Basketball Media Guides (Men)

intimidator inside. He'll have very little adjustment to make there. Offensively, he can play just about any position on the front line he can play the post and he'll add a new dimension in that he is an excellent outside shooter. We can use that ability against some of our opponent*." With Bowie manning the post position, the guard and forward slots will feature experience versus talented youth. When you talk Kentucky, you talk about guards and you start with Macy, who in the words of Hall is "the best college guard in the country." Macy performs so many intangibles his value is difficult to measure. A pure team player in a balanced scoring program, he is just 13 assists shy of the UK career record (319) after only two seasons and he owns the season record with 178. Macy's greatest asset may be his unflappable composure and ability to read floor situations, a gift that Hall says makes him "a coach on the floor." A three-way scramble for Macy's runningmate is among Shidler, Anderson and Minniefield, all talented, hustling players. Shidler is off to his best start in four-years and seems determined to regain the position he held as a freshman. But he has his work cut out to move past Anderson, a '79 SEC All-Freshman selection who was the Cats' second leading scorer. The fleet footed flyer came on extremely strong the second-half of last year but broke his wrist against LSU in SEC tourney, which was a severe blow to the Cats' post-season hopes. Minniefield, a great prep leader, is being groomed to take over Macy's role next year, but wiH see plenty of action as a freshman. And the Minniefield-Anderson duo gives UK two of the fastest players in basketball. The forwards are in great shape, literally, with Williams an inch bigger and up to 220 lbs.. Cowan coming off successful summer surgery, led the weight program and is up to 210 lbs. and gaining, and the three freshmen strongboys, Hord, Hurt and Heitz. All five forwards play well above the rim and carry the heft to become an outstanding rebounding team. As for team strength, assistant coach Dick Parsons, who runs the conditioning program, calls this the strongest, overall group ever at Kentucky and he expects it to be the quickest team in years. An exciting schedule, a group of solid veterans plus the excitement and enthusiasm of a great freshman group spells trouble for Kentucky foes and another potential champion for the Wildcats. HALL ON KENTUCKY'S TOUGH SCHEDULE "Not only is our schedule tough, but we open with Duke in the Hall of Fame game at Springfield, Mass., two weeks earlier than normal and it will test us to get prepared for a veteran team that certainly will be ranked at the top of the polls. Then our next three games are on the road at the Great Alaskan Shootout. None of these games count against our 27-total and that will be some good experience for our youngsters. Counting those four games and our regular season games plus the SEC tournament, we could be playing as many as 19 games off campus and that concerns me." HALL ON THE SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE RACE "The Southeastern Conference is the most balanced and has more bonafide contenders than I can ever remember. I see no less than eight teams that could win it all. LSU, Tennessee and Mississippi State are right there, Vandy has a veteran team back, while Georgia and Auburn had great recruiting success to join some topflight returnees. And I certainly see ourselves as a contender, so it's going to be a real fight for survival." HALL ON UK HOSTING NCAA MIDEAST AT RUPP ARENA 'There's no question that is added incentive for Kentucky to win the SEC tournament, and only if we win the tournament will we have a chance to play in the Mideast. Should we win, we would play the first round game at Western Kentucky and then come home. That certainly is a great incentive to be at peak form at the end of the year. This would give us an excellent chance of getting into the final four." 7