Liggins refuses to re-enter UK game

Freshman DeAndre Liggins refused to re-enter Kentucky’s game against Kansas State Friday night.
UK Coach Billy Gillispie acknowledged Liggins’ refusal to enter the game earely in the second half of UK’s 74-72 victory. “He just said he didn’t want to go back in . . . ,” Gillispie said before adding with a defiant tone, “and we made due without him.”
A followup question brought a softer, philosophical response from the UK coach.
“I was really surprised by that,” he said. “But it’s a freshman who wants to play all the time. When he doesn’t get to play all the time, sometimes you make mistakes like that. And hopefully it won’t be repeated.”
Liggins, a celebrated recruit who played last season for Findlay Prep in nearby Henderson, Nev., played only two minutes in the first half. He went to the bench after awkwardly slipping to the floor and being called for walking.
Because the game ended after 2 a.m. EST, UK did not make any players available for interview.
While Kentucky won without Liggins, his absence had repercussions. It forced starting point guard Michael Porter to play 36 minutes (second most of his career) against Kansas State’s pressure defense. Porter contributed five points and five assists while committing four turnoveres.
“He played very gutsy,” Gillispie said of Porter. “Because he was totally physically drained and worn out.
“He needed to be rested. He needed to not play so many minutes. But he had to. He showed a lot of toughness and grittiness.”
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6 comments ↓

#1 Marion County on 11.29.08 at 9:42 am

If Liggins does not want to play for Kentucky, transfer now! If that happens again, I hope that Gillespie has enough guts to kick Liggins off the team. If he doesnt I will lose respect for Gillespie.
Kentucky is much bigger than any spoiled college kid. If they do not understand team sport, LEAVE. Todays kids could learn something from the drive of Farmer, Feldhaus, Pelphrey and Woods.

#2 John on 11.29.08 at 11:33 am

Oh great. Just what this team needs. A Scottie Pippen ego.

#3 mary louis phelps on 11.29.08 at 12:23 pm

how can a player refuse to enter a game?

#4 denny on 11.29.08 at 3:58 pm

Do you think Porter might have been less tired if he didn’t have a full practice on game day ?

#5 ron bradley on 11.29.08 at 5:00 pm

i really dont blame the kid!!! Billy will let Porter and Harris make many mistakes and keep them in the game. These two kids should not be playing at UKY. I would say the rest of the team knows that and to be taken out of a game for one mistake is just stupid thanks RON

#6 atlake2001 on 11.29.08 at 10:27 pm

when did the player dictate to the coach, he should be benched!!