UK Notebook: Crawford's toughness impresses Hayes

November 09, 2004|LARRY VAUGHT

LEXINGTON - No one was more impressed that freshman guard Joe Crawford took a charge in his first game at Kentucky than senior Chuck Hayes.

Hayes has been known for his all-around play at Kentucky and praised for doing the little things like rebounding and playing defense to help a team win. However, Hayes says Crawford's play last week against Northern Kentucky was not a play a young Chuck Hayes would have made.

"If you go on the tape and look, I did not take a charge my freshman year because I was scared. My whole freshman year, I did not take one single charge," Hayes said. "I had never taken a charge in high school. I was not a guy to take charges. I was not a guy that liked to get hit in football. I was soft. I did not take one charge until my sophomore year here.


"But Joe is a guard. He's supposed to do that. He's a tougher guy than I was at that same age."

Kentucky coach Tubby Smith said it didn't surprise him that Crawford took a charge in UK's opening exhibition game and wouldn't mind seeing him do the same thing tonight against Kentucky Wesleyan.

"He is a tough kid," Hayes said. "He was well coached in high school. If there was a freshman I envisioned doing that, it would be Joe. He did that in high school. Now we just have to make sure we encourage and reward him for doing that at this level."

Hayes says Crawford, who broke teammate Patrick Sparks' nose in practice last week when he hit him with his elbow, has dramatically improved his overall defense in a short time at Kentucky.

"He's coming along and picking things up fine," Hayes said. "At first, even though he was a good defensive player, it was really a hard transition for him. This whole ball line principle deal can get to you. But once you get a lot of reps and see how it works, it becomes a lot easier and that's what has happened with Joe."

Cook can return: Receiver Tommy Cook has been granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA.

"I think they (the NCAA) made a great choice and I'm excited about the opportunity to play my sport again," Cook said. "I want to say thanks to the (UK) medical staff and (compliance director) Sandy Bell for their work in documenting my situation. Without them this wouldn't be possible. I also want to thank coach (Rich) Brooks for wanting me to come back for a sixth year."

Cook played in 34 games from 2001 through 2003 and caught 63 passes for 796 yards and six touchdowns. He was expected to be UK's top receiver this year before he injured his knee in the spring game in April.

Because he also had a broken hand his first season at UK in 2000, the NCAA granted him a sixth year to complete his playing eligibility.

"Obviously, this is a win-win situation for Tommy Cook and the University of Kentucky," Brooks said. "He is an outstanding young man who has graduated and can now work on an advanced degree. He has great leadership qualities as well as playmaking ability. He will be a big boost to the 2005 Kentucky football team."

Cook has already completed his bachelor's degree in kinesiology. He will either work toward a second undergraduate degree or begin work on a master's degree.

Tickets available: Unclaimed student tickets for Kentucky's early-season basketball games will be available to the general public beginning Thursday at 9 a.m. Tickets may be purchased from the UK Ticket Office in Memorial Coliseum in person, by phone (800/928-CATS or 859/257-1818) or online ( The cost is $27 for lower level seats and $22 for upper level seats.

The games are against Coppin State (Nov. 20), Georgia State (Nov. 26), Tennessee Tech (Nov. 30), Morehead State (Dec. 8), William & Mary (Dec. 22) and Campbell (Dec. 29).

Committed: Kentucky got its eighth verbal football commitment Monday when tight end Ross Bogue of Suwanee, Ga., said he would sign with the Wildcats in February.

Bogue, who visited UK last weekend, had Duke and South Carolina in his top three college choices also, but Kentucky was the only school that had already offered a scholarship.

He caught 28 passes for 300 yards and one touchdown this season.

He's the second Georgia player to commit to UK as earlier receiver-defensive back Demoreo Ford of LaGrange, Ga., had committed. UK's other out-of-state commitment is from Ohio linebacker Ben Bates.

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