xt7bk35m9g97 https://nyx.uky.edu/dips/xt7bk35m9g97/data/mets.xml University of Kentucky 1997  athletic publications English University of Kentucky Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. University of Kentucky Basketball Media Guides (Men) Basketball, 1997 text Basketball, 1997 1997 2012 true xt7bk35m9g97 section xt7bk35m9g97 ?I<^Q--OZ
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On the front: Pictured are seniors Anthony Epps, Hared Prickett and Coach Rick Pitino with last year's championship team.
On the back: Seniors Jeff Sheppard and Derek Anderson.
1906-97 i
Kentucky Basketball Schedule
Time* 7:30 9:00 8:00
Date Opponent Location
Nov. 4 (Mon.)       ATHLETES IN ACTION    Syracuse (ESPtO Anchorage, Alaska 9:00
bee 3 (Tues.) Purdue - GreatiEight (ESPN) Chicago, III. 9:30 DecJ(SaL)        Indiana (ESPN)                   :  Louisville. Ky. 7:00
Dec 9 (Mon.)        WRIGHT STATE" (UK-L) LEXINGTON 8:00
Dec. 14 (Sat.)        NOTRE DAME (UK-L) LEXINGTON 8:00
Dec. 21 (Sat.)       at Georgia Tech (ESPN) Atlanta. Ga. 7:30
. Dec. 23 (Mon.)      UNC ASHEV1LLE (UK-L) LEXINGTON 8:00
Dec. 28 (Sat)       Ohio St. - R & R Shootout (UK-L) Cleveland. Ohio " 7:00
Dec. 31 (Tues.)      at Louisville (ESPN2) Louisville. Ky. 430-
Jan. 4 (Sat.) TENNESSEE OP) LEXINGTON 1:30/4:00
Jan. 7 (Tues.)      . MISSISSIPPI STATE (ESPN) LEXINGTON 9:30
m 9 (Thurs.)       CANlsiUS (UK-D) LEXINGTON
Jan. 11 (Sat.)        at Ole Miss (ABO Oxford, Miss.
Jan. 14 (Tues.)      at Georgia (ESPN) Athens, Ga.
Jan. 18 (Sat.)        AUBURN (JP) LEXINGTON
Jan. 22 (Wed.)      Vanderbilt (UK-D) Cincinnati, Ohio
Jan. 26 (Sun.)       at Arkansas (CBS) Fayetteville, Ark.
Jan. 29 (Wed.)      at Florida (UK-D) Gainesville. Fla.
Feb. 1 (Sat.) GEORGIA (JP) LEXINGTON
Feb. 4 (Tues.)       at SoutJi Carolina (ESPN) ^ Columbia, S.C.
Feb. 6 (Thurs.)       WESTERN CAROLINA (UK-D) LEXINGTON
Feb. 9 (Sun.) VILLANOVA (CBS) LEXINGTON
Feb. 12 (Wed.)      LSU OR) LEXINGTON
Feb. 15 (Sat.),       FLORIDA (JP) LEXINGTON
Feb. 19 (Wed^)      at Alabama (JP) Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Feb. 22 (Sat)       at Vanderbilt (JP) Nashville. Tenn.
Feb,. 25 (Tues.)      at Tennessee (ESPN) Knoxville, Tenn.
Mar. 2 (Sun.)!   SOUTH CAROLINA (CBS) LEXINGTON
Mar. 6-9 (Thurs.-Sun.) SEC Tournament Memphis, Tenn.
'All times ET and subject to change
Home games in all caps * r
D-Delayed; L-Live
7:30 1:00 9:30 3:00 7:30 2:30 7:00 3:00 9:30 7:30 3:00 8:00 4:00 8:00 3:00" 9:30 Noon TBA
At left: The 1996 Midwest Region Champions celebrate their second trip to the Final Four in four years. Photography Director .......David Coyle
Photo Credits..................David Coyle,
Joseph Rey Au, Breck Smither, Helena Hau, UK Public Relations, AP/Wide World, UPI/Bettman, The Lexington Herald-Leader, Bill Straus, Brooks Downing, Miami Heat, Sarasota Red Sox, New York Knicks, NBA Photo Services, Rick Haze, Mike Hebert.
Graphic Design...................By Design
Cover Design .......UK Media Relations
By Design
Printing...........Post Printing Company
Color Separations.......Computer Color
To purchase additional copies of this publication, send check/money order for $15 each, which includes postage/handling, to:
UK Media Relations Memorial Coliseum, Rm. 23 Lexington, Ky. 40506-0019
1996-97 U KENTUCKY
GENERAL INFORMATION__
Covering the Cats....................................................2
Basketball Quick Facts.............................................3
Athletics Phone Directory.......................................4
OUTLOOK_
1996-97 Preview.................................................6-12
SEC/NCAA Brackets............................................13
1996-97 SEC Schedule..........................................14
1996-97 UK Schedule...................Inside front cover
THE PLAYERS_
Roster/Team Photo................................................16
Radio/TV Chart.....................................................17
Derek Anderson...............................................18-19
Allen Edwards........................................................20
Anthony Epps...................................................21-22
Jamaal Magloire.....................................................23
Stephen Masiello...................................................24
Ron Mercer.......................................................25-26
Cameron Mills.......................................................27
Nazr Mohammed...................................................28
Scott Padgett..........................................................29
Jared Prickett....................................................30-31
Jeff Sheppard....................................................32-33
Oliver Simmons.....................................................34
Wayne Turner........................................................35
Player Game-by-Game Stats............................36-44
THE STAFF_
Rick Pitino........................................................46-59
Jim O'Brien............................................................60
Defray Brooks.........................................................61
Winston Bennett...................................................62
Shaun Brown, Bill Keightley.................................63
Support Staff..........................................................64
1995-96 REVIEW_
Championship Season Review.........................66-72
Final Season Stats..................................................73
Game-by-Game Results....................................74-75
1995-96 Team Awards...........................................76
Departed Lettermen...............................................77
Game Reviews..................................................78-89
Final SEC Standings..............................................90
Final SEC Team Stats............................................91
Final SEC Individual Stats....................................92
THE OPPONENTS_
Alabama/Arkansas.............................................94-95
Auburn/Canisius.................. ..............................96-97
Clemson/Florida................................................98-99
Georgia/Georgia Tech...................................100-101
Indiana/LSU..................................................102-103
Louisville/Mississippi.....................................104-105
Mississippi State/UNC Asheville..................106-107
Notre Dame/Ohio State................................108-109
Purdue/South Carolina..................................110-111
Tennessee/Vanderbilt.....................................112-113
Villanova/Western Carolina.......... ................114-115
Wright State..........................................................116
Opponents (continued) GREAT ALASKA SHOOTOUT
Syracuse.................................................................117
Alaska-Anchorage/Arizona State.........................118
College of Charleston/Maine................................119
UNC Greensboro/Stanford...................................120
THE UNIVERSITY_
This is UK.....................................................122-123
Pageantry......................................................124-125
CATS Academics.........................................126-127
UK Facilities.................................................128-129
Team Travel.........................................................130
Blue and White Fund..........................................131
President, Athletics Director.......................132-133
Administrative Staff.....................................134-136
Other UK Head Coaches....................................137
Committee of 101 / Alumni Assoc......................138
TRADITION & HISTORY_
Kentucky Basketball Timeline.....................140-147
UK Basketball Museum.......................................148
Coaches Through The Years........................149-150
National Championship Teams...................151-160
Teams of Tradition...............................................161
UK Lettermen..............................................162-164
Success  Academic & Athletic................165-171
Ail-Americans..............................................172-173
Cats in the Pros............................................174-175
Retired Jerseys......................................................176
Awards & Honors.........................................177-179
UK in the NCAA Tournament...................180-183
UK in the SEC............................................184-185
The Southeastern Conference.............................186
UK in Invitational Tournaments.........................187
All-Time Wire Rankings..............................187-191
Biggest Games..............................................192-195
Cats on TV...................................................196-197
Alumni Gym........................................................198
Memorial Coliseum......................................199-200
Rupp Arena..................................................201-202
Freedom Hall / Louisville.............................203-204
RECORDS_
General Records...........................................206-208
Rupp Arena Records............................................209
Scoring, Year-By-Year Points........................210-211
Rebounding, Field Goals..............................212-213
Three-Point Goals, Free Throws..................214-215
Assists, Attendance......................................216-217
Streaks / Overtime Games...................................218
Year-by-Year Team Stats...............................219-220
1,000-Point Scorers......................................221-227
All-Time Results...........................................228-239
Records vs. All Opponents...........................240-250
MEDIA DIRECTORY_
UK Basketball Media Outlets.......................252-253
UK Basketball Broadcast Networks.............254-255
City of Lexington.................................................256
 COVERING THE CATS
COVERING KENTUCKY
The 1996-97 edition of the University of Kentucky basketball media guide has been produced to assist you with your coverage of the Wildcats. Additional information, including press releases, photographs/slides, clips and videotape footage is available upon request. Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with Kentucky's media policies, as stated on the following pages. CREDENTIALS - Credentials for UK home games are issued for working media only and should be requested as early as possible. Requests must be made in writing on company letterhead and are honored only from sports editors of daily newspapers and sports directors of radio and television stations. The University of Kentucky follows the guidelines set forth by the NCAA and the Southeastern Conference in governing the issuance of credentials. Season credentials will be granted only to daily newspapers and television/radio stations that cover UK basketball on a regular basis. Otherwise, television/radio stations and iveekly newspapers will be granted credentials on a single-game, space-available basis.
Requests for season credentials should arrive by November 1. Requests for single-game credentials should arrive no later than one week in advance of the game. All requests for credentials should be made to:
RENA VICINI
Assistant AD/Media Relations University of Kentucky Athletics Memorial Coliseum, Lexington, KY 40506-0019
MEDIA SERVICES
Media Parking - Available at Rupp Arena on a limited basis. The city of Lexington assesses a charge for parking privileges. Requests should be made when submitting press and/or photo credential requests. The media parking area can be accessed from Main Street or Cox Street. The lot opens three hours before tipoff.
Media Room - The media room is located beneath section 28 and can be accessed through the floor exit beneath section 26. Working facilities, with electrical outlets and a limited number of telephones, are available.
Media Services - The University of Kentucky uses the "Final III" computerized statistics system, which has been used during the last 11 NCAA Final Fours. Working media will receive the following:
*Game program and notes *Complete play-by-play
*Halftime statistics *Shot charts
*Coach and player quotes *Final statistics
Media Will Call - Located through the security door of Rupp Arena which is adjacent to Door 5 of the receiving area. The receiving area is adjacent to media parking. Credentials are not available at the public Will Call window on the High Street concourse level. Photographers - The photo zones are appropriately marked on the Rupp Arena floor. Some photo spots have been assigned. Because of safety concerns, no shooting is allowed on the either sideline. Due to the reduction of space, photo credentials will be limited. Radio/TV Rights - Broadcasting rights to UK games are assigned exclusively to Sports Communications, Inc., of Lexington. One reciprocal rights fee waiver is guaranteed opponent schools visiting
Lexington. Call Mike Dodson, network coordinator, at (606) 226-HOST.
SEC Services - Coach Pitino, along with the other 11 conference coaches, will participate in the Southeastern Conference's teleconference call. The calls are conducted on Mondays and Thursdays during the conference portion of the schedule. Coach Pitino participates on those days at 11:14 a.m. E.T. For a complete conference call schedule and phone number, contact the SEC Media Relations office at (205) 458-3000. The SEC also operates a 24-hour computer bulletin board with updated statistics and notes on all 12 teams. For further information on these services, contact the SEC Media Relations office.
Fax-On-Demand - University of Kentucky releases and statistics are available to members of the media via Fax-on-Demand. This automated service, which instantly sends information to your fax machine, is operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For instructions, please contact the UK Media Relations office at (606) 257-3838. This service is available to media members only. Once in the system, the following can be obtained from a fax machine by dialing:
1720 Entire Release
1721 Stats
1722 Notes Only
1723 Roster/Schedule
1724 Player Bios
1725 Previous Box Score Telephones - A limited number of telephones are available in the Rupp Arena media room. Newspapers and radio stations desiring their own private lines, to be installed either on press row or in the media room, should contact GTE at (606) 223-9422.
Interview Policies-General - All interviews with University of Kentucky basketball players or coaches must be arranged through the Media Relations office. The Wildcat Lodge living quarters is a private team area. Media members are not permitted in this area at any time.
Covering Practice - UK basketball practices are closed. Player interviews may be conducted 30 minutes prior to practices the day before games. Coach Pitino meets with members of the media at scheduled times to be announced.
Postgame Interviews - Following each game, there will be a 25-minute cooling-off period, during which time the players will shower and dress. Approximately 10 minutes after the game ends, Coach Pitino will conduct his postgame press conference. A player will also be taken to the UK Radio Network. Following Coach Pitino's press conference and the cooling-off period, the UK lockerroom will be open to all members of the media for 15 minutes.
Press Conferences - Coach Pitino will conduct several press conferences throughout the season at Memorial Coliseum. Contact the Media Relations office for scheduling details. Radio Call-In Shows - As specified by the Southeastern Conference, no players will be allowed to participate in radio call-in shows. Coach Pitino may not participate in any radio show other than those specified in his contract.
Telephone Player Interviews - Request telephone interviews at least 24 hours in advance through the Media Relations office. Telephone requests will be returned when players' schedules allow.
MEDIA      I   N   F  O   R   M A UK
QUICK FACTS
Kentucky's Unparalleled Tradition
Past 93 Years...
 Winningest Team in College Basketball (1,650-520-1)
 76.0 winning percentage
 Six NCAA Titles (48-49, 51, 58, 78, 96)
 Two NCAA Runner-up Trophies
 Most Wins In NCAA Tournament  70
 37 NCAA Tourney Appearances
 11 Final Fours
 38 SBC Championships
 19 SEC Tournament Titles
Past Five Years...
 Winningest Team in College
Basketball (148 wins)
 29.6 Wins Per Season
 One NCAA Title
 Two Final Fours
 Four Final Eights
 Four SEC Tournament Titles
 Two SEC Championships
University Information
Location: Lexington, KY 40506-0019 Founded: 1865
Enrollment: 24,200 (campus) 30,000
(at 14 community colleges) President: Dr. Charles T. Wethington Jr. Faculty Representative: Dr. John Piecoro Conference: Southeastern (Eastern Division) Nickname: Wildcats Colors: Blue and White Arena: Rupp Arena Capacity: 23,000
UK Athletics Association
Athletics Director: C. M. Newton
Senior Associate Director: Larry W. Ivy
Associate Director: Kathy DeBoer
Assistant
Directors:    Bob BradleyAcademics
Jack FliggFootball Operations John CroppSpecial Projects Rena ViciniMedia Relations Sandy BellCompliance Kyle MoatsMarketing
Assistants to the A.D.:   Frank Ham, Micki King
Ticket Manager: Barbara Donnelly
Head Coach
Rick Pittno (Massachusetts, 1974) College Coaching Record: 317-119
(14 years, 72.7%) NBA Coaching Record: 90-74
(2 years, 54.9%) Kentucky Coaching Record: 184-45
(7 years, 80.3%)
Coaching Staff
Associate Coach: Jim O'Brien (St Joseph's, 1974)
Assistant Coaches:
Delray Brooks (Providence, Winston Bennett (Kentucky, 1987)
Strength/Conditioning Coach: Shaun Brown
Assistant Strength Coach: Layne Kaufman
Equipment Manager: Bill Keightley
Trainer: Eddie Jamiel
Team Physician: Dr. David Caborn
Administrative Assistant: Marta McMackin
Staff Assistant: Erin Smith
Basketball Phone Number: (606) 257-1916
Team Information
1995-96 Record: 34-2 SEC Record: 16-0 (1st SEC East/Overall Final AP Poll: 2nd Final CNN-USA Today Poll: 1st Postseason Play:
SEC  2-1, tournament runner-up to
Mississippi State;
NCAA  6-0, won Midwest Regional and
National Championship. Lettermen Returning: 10Derek Anderson,
Allen Edwards, Anthony Epps, Ron Mercer,
Cameron Mills, Nazr Mohammed, Jared
Prickett, Jeff Sheppard, Oliver Simmons,
Wayne Turner Lettermen Lost: 4Tony Delk, Walter McCarty,
Mark Pope, Antoine Walker Starters Returning: 2Anthony Epps, Derek
Anderson
Starters Lost: 3Tony Delk, Walter McCarty,
Antoine Walker Newcomers: 1Jamaal Magloire UK ATHLETICS TELEPHONE DIRECTORY
RENA VIC1NI ASSISTANT AD/MEDIA
RELATIONS OFFICE: (606) 257-3838 HOME: (606) 269-5814
Frequently Called Numbers
SANDYBOYKEN
PROJECTS COORDINATOR OFFICE: (606) 2S7-3838 HOME: (606) 293-6571
Athletics Director.................(606) 257-8000
UK Ticket Office...................(606) 257-1818
Rupp Arena Ticket Office.....(606) 233-3535
Rupp Arena Administrative ...(606) 233-4567
Rupp Arena Press Row.........(606) 252-3602
Media Relations.....................(606) 257-3838
Media Relations Fax.............(606) 323-4310
^^1			
			
		SUSAN!	M 7.7. A RH
		PUBLICATIONS	
		DIRECTOR OFFICE: (606) 257-3838	
			
			
			
MED		1 A	1  N  F C
MAILING/OVERNIGHT ADDRESS:
Memorial Coliseum, Room 23 Avenue of Champions Lexington, KY 40506-0019 (606) 257-3838
ADMINISTRATION...............257-8000
C. M. Newton, Athletics Director Larry W. Ivy, Senior Associate Director Kathy DeBoer, Associate Director Barbara Isham, Executive Assistant
ACADEMICS (CATS)...............257-1897
Bob Bradley, Assistant AD
Barbara Deniston, Director of Student
Development Ann Sampson, Staff Assistant
BASKETBALL OFFICE............257-1916
Rick Pitino, Head Coach
lim O'Brien, Associate Coach
Delray Brooks, Assistant Coach
Winston Bennett, Assistant Coach
Shaun Brown, Strength/Conditioning Coach
Marta McMackin, Administrative Assistant
Erin Smith, Staff Assistant
BUSINESS OFFICE................257-8000
Sandy Morgan, Administrative Assistant J. R. Hisle, Accounting Manager David Boyd, Computer Consultant Rita Griffith, Accounting Clerk Barbara Kiser, Accounting Clerk Carol Gibson, Accounting Clerk J.J. Jones, Accounting Clerk Carol Ann Maupin, Accounting Clerk
COMPLIANCE........................257-8604
Sandy Bell, Assistant A.D. Compliance John Butler, Compliance Coordinator
EQUIPMENT..........................257-1889
Bill Keightley, Equipment Manager
MARKETING, PROMOTIONS
& FUNDRAISING..................257-8000
Kyle Moats, Assistant A.D. Marketing Alyssa Middleton, Promotions Coordinator Tamara Calton, Administrative Assistant Pat McBeath, Staff Assistant
NUTTER FIELD HOUSE.........257-7122
Russ Pear, Facilities Coordinator Jason Bauman, Field House Manager Mary Anderson, Staff Assistant
STUDENT ADMISSIONS.......257-1757
Rodney Stiles, Director, Administrative Services Suzanne Wooten, Staff Assistant
TICKET OFFICE.......................257-1818
Barbara Donnelly, Ticket Manager Sheila Chapman, Assistant Manager Lydia Wehrle, Staff Assistant Sue Childers, Staff Assistant
TRAINING ROOM...............257-2750
Eddie Jamiel, Trainer
VIDEO.....................................257-5137
David Combs, Video Director Darin Carr, Assistant
Shawn Robinson
  1996-97 OUTLOOK
i
net
For Repeat
"... yes, we have a lot back, no question about it. But ive don't have our three leading rebounders, our three leading scorers and our three most experienced ballplayers. And they cannot be replaced. We've got to find a way to overcome those obstacles by outworking our opponents."
Rick Pitino
 1996-97 OUTLOOK
There are no sweeter words in college hoops than "national championship."
Coach Rick Pitino knows. He sweated seven seasons in the Bluegrass State to bring another national title to the University of Kentucky. And in 1996, he accomplished his goal. But he is not finished.
Eighteen years had passed since an NCAA championship plaque had been added to the UK trophy case. But the gap between additions to that case hopes to be shortened considerably.
The word du jour is "Repeat."
Most recently the Chicago Bulls and Houston Rockets accomplished the feat in basketball. The Dallas Cowboys did it in football. Add baseball's Atlanta Braves to the two-straight list. But while professional teams experience a different turnover rate, repeating at the college level is a much tougher task, because of graduation and early departures to the NBA.
"We understand, like UCLA last year, that we've lost a lot," Pitino said. "We've lost our three leading rebounders. And we've lost four NBA draft picks. That in itself is an obstacle that's very difficult to overcome. But that's what we're setting our sights on doing."
One thing that's not missing from the Wildcats camp is the drive to win a second title, an achievement that hasn't been accomplished at UK in back-to-back seasons since the Fabulous Five in 1948 and '49.
"As a matter of fact, you get more hungry," Pitino said. "It's like when you go to a great restaurant. What happens is you want to get back to that great restaurant again because it was such a wonderful experience. Well, once you experience the Final Four and the national championship, you'd like to do everything you can to get back because it's such a weekend filled with excitement and great pride."
The 1996-97 Wildcats return an experienced outside game with a mix of old and new inside. Heading the roster are two returning starters from the championship squad and two reserves who each started at least eight games last season. Also returning is one Wildcat who started 42 games in three previous seasons before missing most of last year with an injured knee.
"People may say, 'Well, they've got a lot coming back,'" Pitino said. "And yes, we have a lot back, no question about it. But we don't have our three leading rebounders, our three leading scorers and our three most experienced ballplayers. And they cannot be replaced. We've got to find a way to overcome those obstacles by outworking our opponents."
While the cream of the crop has departed, the remainder has great potential. The Wildcats were arguably the deepest team in college basketball last season  the bench averaged 31.4 points, 13.9 rebounds and 8.6 assists per game. Ten players averaged at least 9.3 minutes per game and no one averaged more than 27 minutes per outing. So the
Derek Anderson is the team's top returning scorer and rebounder.
OUTLOOK 1996-97 OUTLOOK
question posed by admirers last season will be answered this year; Could UK's second team also be ranked in the top 10?
"I think the players coming back were
support players," Pitino replied. "They weren't the focal point of our offense and defense. So their impact remains to be seen." Tony Delk, Walter McCarty and Antoine Walker  all first round picks in the 1996 NBA Draft  were the focal points, and Mark Pope, a second-
4P
round pick, was a key reserve. The spotlight is now searching for their successors... Derek Anderson? Ron Mercer? Anthony Epps?
But stealing much of the preseason limelight has been Pitino's thoughts of redshirting senior Jeff Sheppard. The 6-3 guard was a key reserve as a freshman, started much of his sophomore season at point guard and averaged 13 minutes per game off the bench last year. Pitino thinks a year on the sidelines would allow the Georgia native to play 30 minutes per game the following year, increasing his chances to play at the next level. But the proposed loss of another veteran creates a hole for someone else to fill. Pitino's difficult decision will not be made until Nov. 14.
The Lineup
UK's two returning starters  Epps and Anderson  have the potential to be one of the best guard combinations in the country. While Epps dished out 175 assists at the point last year, Anderson will switch from small forward to his more natural position of shooting guard. The 6-2 Epps averaged 6.7 points, 3.1 rebounds and 4-9 assists per game as a junior. He started 25 of the 36 games and owned a 3-to-l assists-
Above, Jeff Sheppard will compete for the starting two-guard position.
Right, Derek Anderson's pressure defense will be needed in UK's quest for its seventh national title.
 1996-97 OUTLOOK
to-turnover ratio. In the six NCAA Tournament games, he tallied 38 assists, 16 steals and just five turnovers, while averaging a team-leading 30 minutes per game.
"Next to the definition of winner in Webster's Dictionary should be Anthony's picture," Pitino remarked.
Epps' savvy, along with his experience, will give him the upper hand for playing time over Wayne Turner, who started eight games as a freshman in January and February last season. The jet-quick Turner is a lead guard who loves to penetrate and score.
"He has worked harder than any other player on improving his jump shot," Pitino said. "It's gone from subpar to above average. I think Wayne is going to be a terrific point guard for us."
Steve Masiello will also work into a backup role. The walk-on freshman from White Plains, N.Y., joins the team after averaging 34-5 points and eight assists per game at The Harvey School. Masiello was an honorable mention All-State performer as a senior after leading his team to the New England Conference Championship his junior year.
The familiar depth is not just limited to point guard. Competing for playing time at the two-guard will be Anderson, Sheppard, Allen Edwards and Cameron Mills. The 6-4 Anderson is the team's leading returning scorer (9.4 ppg) and rebounder (3.4 ppg). He started 24 of the 36 games last season, mostly at small forward. But with the loss of Delk, coupled with the late-season emergence of Mercer, Anderson will likely start at the shooting guard position in the season opener.
Sheppard will see ample playing time, but if he redshirts, the back-up role will fall to a number of possible candidates. Edwards, who continues to improve, will likely back-up both the two and three positions. Epps could also play the two-guard spot when Turner is at the point. Even Mills, the junior who earned his first scholarship this season, will have a chance to unleash his patented jumper, as long as he shows improvement defensively.
"Our perimeter game is the strength of our team," Pitino said. "It's a team that's very strong at the one, two and three. But how strong remains to be seen. Because again, you're talking about support players from last
year. Edwards, Mercer, Sheppard and Turner were all support players. You can't base everything on potential. Potential must be proven before you can speak in concrete terms."
But Pitino's excitement with the Cats' potential can't be hidden when he speaks of Mercer. The Nashville native finished his freshman season with a career night against Syracuse, scoring 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the floor, including 3-4 from three-point land.
"Ron, we feel, will live up to his ability," Pitino said. "He has the potential to be one of the greatest Kentucky has ever had. If Ron stays around for four years, I think he'll become one of the most exciting players to ever put on a Kentucky uniform."
Allen Edwards will see more time at both shooting guard and small forward.
I
mi.
 Anderson and Edwards also will see time at small forward. Edwards keyed both wins over Georgia last season, especially the game played in Athens. The Miami native scored five points with the UK lead at one in the closing moments to boost the Wildcats to victory.
At power forward, senior Jared Prickett steps back into the lineup after missing most of last season with a weak left knee. The 6-9, 235-pound native of Fairmont, W.Va., has played in 105 games in his UK career with 42 starts. His career contains such highlights as a 22-point performance vs. Florida State in
UK's romp to the 1993 Final Four; and a 20-rebound effort against eventual national champ Arkansas in 1994.
His injury  a bone growth that was removed in June 1995  did not heal properly. It may have been a blessing in disguise.
"As it turned out for Jared Prickett, and as it turned out for the team, it was a blessing all the way around," Pitino said. "It was a blessing for Jared because Antoine went hardship. If Antoine's back, Jared doesn't start. Even though he redshirted, he would still just play 18 minutes a game. But that was better than eight minutes per game if he had been healthy last year. Now, with Walker gone, he goes to 30 minutes per game.
"So Jared's best friend right now is Antoine."
Oliver Simmons, a returning 6-9 sophomore, gained 10 pounds over the summer and should see action in a reserve role behind Prickett. The big redhead played in 21 games last season, with 37 points and 24 rebounds. He gained valuable experience on the jayvee squad, where he averaged a double-double, 18.6 points and 10.5 rebounds per game.
Scott Padgett, a 6-9 forward, sat out the championship season due to academic difficulties, but the staff expects a stronger, more mature player to return after the fall semester is complete. He averaged 2.0 points and 1.2 rebounds in 14 games as a freshman in 1994-95, but his numbers jumped during the team's trip to Italy in 1995, where he averaged 7.6 points and 4-8 rebounds.
"Padgett is a big key to our ball club," Pitino stated. "He's like a Mark Pope or a Walter McCarty... one who can mix it up inside or step out and hit the three."
While the Wildcats have much experience at the one through four positions, their youth will dominate the middle. A much slimmer version of sophomore Nazr Mohammed returns with his soft hands and wide frame. While playing in only 16 games for the varsity last year, he dominated the jayvee opposition, scoring 23.1 points per game and ripping down 11.5 rebounds an outing. He also recorded 46 blocks in 13 junior varsity contests. He lacks only varsity experience. 1996-97 OUTLOOK
Competing for the inside job will be UK's lone scholarship newcomer, Jamaal Magloire. The 6-10 Canadian import put on 12 pounds in his first month of conditioning at UK, and is projected to be an active defender while his offensive game continues to develop. He averaged 24 points, 15 rebounds and seven blocks last year in