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Image 6 of The Cats' Pause, "December 20, 1986"

Part of The Cats' Pause

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&7ie (jots' ($aas& LSU's Wilson Back On Tigers' Squad Dale Brown received some good news last Saturday. Star forward Nikita Wilson, who was declared academically ineligible last January, was allowed back on the squad in time for Sunday's game against Georgia Tech in Baton Rouge. Wilson passed 15 credit hours during the Fall term which earned the team's captain a spot back on the roster. A starter in 17 of 18 possible games last season. Wilson was allowed to practice with the team during his 10-month absence. In '86 he averaged 13.1 points and 6.0 rebounds per game. Against the Yellow Jackets he tallied six points.' All of which came down the stretch as the Tigers eased past the ACC squad 52-49. The contest was played before a nationally televised ESPN crowd. Nikita Wilson No. 41 CJ's Reed Resigns; May Be T )und For Lexington Newspaper Billy Reed, the widely read sports columnist for the Louisville Courier-Journal, has resigned from his sports writing duties in the Derby City. According to Reed, his reason for leaving was because of differences with CJ's management concerning his future role with the newspaper. Reportedly, Reed has been contacted by the Lexington's Herald-Leader. Reed told Herald-Leader sports writer Jerry Tipton that the H-L opportunity, "is a possibility that will receive very serious consideration." "Writing and reporting are the only skills I know," said Reed. "I want to employ them in some way. It might be public relations, politics or journalism or some combination." Herald-Leader editor John Carroll quoted about the matter, "I feel we have a strong sports department and we're not looking for additional help. But when a first-rate pro like Billy Reed comes along, you can't stand by idly." Reed, 43, was previously on the Herald-Leader's staff in the 1960s. In 1966 he then moved to Louisville to work for the Courier-Journal. In 1968 he left the CJ and took a position as a full-time writer for Sports Illustrated. Reed then returned to the Courier-Journal in 1972. Since 1977 Reed had been the paper's sports editor while also a sports columnist. Lamar Coach: Lock Could Be UK's Key Also Gives His Impressions Of Mike Scott If you've been toany of the Kentucky basketball practices recently, t shouldn't come as any big surprise that Eddie Sutton's team is playing so inconsistently in the games. n a five-on-five drill last week in practice, the White team featured student manager Tim Jackson, assistant coach Wayne Breeden. Richard Madison and walk-ons Steve Bruce and Terry liao "Bo- Not exactly the fearsome fivesome. Sutton was forced to go with that lineup in practice because UK assistant Dwane Casey, who had just been given the OK by the — Mike Estep Cats' Pause Columnist NCAA to suit up for workouts, had taken an elbow to the mouth from Rob Lock and had to be taken to the hospital for stitches. "I don't have anything against coach Casey," Lock told reporters ith a grin, "but he's new around here and he has to pay his dues." If anybody on the UK squad knows about paying dues, it's Lock. Troubled with inconsistency his entire career at Kentucky, Lock felt the wrath of the boo-birds when he entered the game against Texas Tech Dec. 2. But Lock was inserted into the starting lineup against Lamar Saturday, and the junior center from Reedley. Calif., responded with a career-high 12 points. "In the Texas Tech game, I played poorly and I probably deserved what I got," Lock said. "But it felt good to come out and play well tonight. To come out and perform well tonight, it gives me a real good feeling. "I felt a little aprehensive, coming back into Rupp Arena after being booed. Nobody likes to be booed. I say that because I don't want to get booed again." Lamar Coach Says Lock Could Be Key For UK If Lock can continue to play as he did against Lamar, you can rest assured the big redhead won't hear many more boos. In 30 minutes of action, he was six of seven from the field, and even chipped in with two steals and a pair of assists. Lamar coach Tom Abatemarco said if Lock can duplicate that performance on a consistent basis, he looks for Kentucky to be going strong in March. "If Lock can play, consistently, their gonna be a really good basketball team," Abatemarco said. "They got excellent perimeter people and the way Eddie plays, it's tough to play 'em. He's gonna control the ball and do a real good job of shot selection. "They're a good basketball team, they're well-coached. They're an underrated team, believe me, they are. They're not the Kentucky teams of the past with 6-8, 6-9, 6-10 (players), but they have finesse players. They do a great job in their motion offense. They're a tough defensive team. They're a team that's gonna be in the NCAA playoffs down the road. They'll be in the top three or four teams in the Southeast Conference, and they'll get an NCAA bid. "I was not surprised at Kentucky. I tried to tell my people that this team is underrated. This is not the "franchise" Kentucky team, like they're gonna be in couple of years with the recruiting year they had. But there's not that many great teams this year. They're a good team that's gonna be in the NCAA playoffs." Abatemarco was an assistant under Jim Valvano at N.C. State last year, and he compared this year's Kentucky team to the one that lost to the Wolfpack in Raleigh last season. "Well they don't have as much depth, and they did lose some very good players," Abatemarco said. "But if (Winston) Bennett and (Cedric) Jenkins were back, they'd be every bit as good as last year. (Irv) Thomas is gonna get better and better as the season goes on, and so will Richard (Madison). I understand they're gonna get a big kid named (Mike) Scott who played at Wake Forest in the ACC. I had a chance to see him play, that'll help 'em a lot. "They've got great athletes. They got the thin athletes, the Blackmons and the Davenders. There's still seven pretty good high school AU-American players. He's just missing one or two to have a great team. If the people in Kentucky are patient with them, there gonna do some great things." Says Scott Could Help 'Cats But coach, can Kentucky be there in March, without u dominating center? "The way (Sutton) plays, yes," Abatemarco replied, 'if they keep shooting as well and if they can get one more big kid. If Lock and Scott can come along, they could be a very good basketball team. They also could go the other way. It's gonna be that type of year. It could go either way. But I have a lot of confidence in them. Hey. I'm sounding like a Kentucky alum. Would you guys leave me alone?" Speaking of Scott, Abatemarco saw him play at Wake Forest two years ago, and gave these thoughts on the big guy who is expected to be in uniform for the 'Cats in early January: "Mike Scott's a big, tough 6-10 role player. OK? He's gonna help 'em a lot," he said. "He runs the floor well, he shoots the ball well, he's a good players. He played well against us at North Carolina State. He's a good passer. He's more mobile than Lock is. He'll help 'em a lot. But he's no franchise, now. they're not bringing in a Dave Cowens, so you better relax." He might not be a Dave Cowens, but Abatemarco did say he could help tremendously in the areas Kentucky is lacking in right now. "Rebounding strength, that's all," he said when asked what Kentucky needed to be a contender in the NCAA's. "And they need more consistency out of (guard James) Blackmon, I think that's key, if Blackmon can play as well as he did tonight." Defense Finally Wore Cards Down The Lamar coach said that he was most impressed with the Wildcat defense. He said that the swarming man-to-man, (and the zone that Sutton pulled out of storage) was too much for his team to handle. "Oh, wow." Abartemarco said. "They pick you up when you come Lamar Coach Tom Abatemarco off the bus. "I mean they're denying you all over. It's just great defense. The kids are in great shape, they do a great job. "I said it last year, that the team we played against, Kentucky, played the best defense against us at North Carolina State. . .and we, played Duke twice. There were times in that game (which NC State won 54-51) that we couldn't run our offense." Lamar was in the game nearly all the way, trailing just 54-50 at the five-minute mark. But that's when the aforementioned Kentucky defense shut the door. "As a matter of fact, what they should let you do in basketball is throw in the white towel," Abatemarco said. "With three minutes left, just let me throw it in. Then I would've gone home with a three-point loss, or whatever it is. "And I wish Eddie would have let my assistant (Tony Branch) play against their assistant (Dwane Casey), because I think we could have won," Abatemarco said. "Branch being a Louisville guy, and Casey a Kentucky guy, I would have had a shot at the game then "See what we should have done with three minutes left, is stop the game and let them go one-on-one and see who woulda won it,' he added. "I mean this doesn't mean nothin', it's a non-conference game anyway."