VAUGHT: Rekalin Sims - another fan favorite?

Rekalin Sims

Rekalin Sims says he's no Chuck Hayes, but he sure sounds a lot like the former Kentucky fan favorite.

Sims immediately made it clear to everyone at Kentucky's Media Day that he was not there "to fill Chuck Hayes' shoes" because that would be impossible. He described Hayes as a "warrior" who was loved by UK fans.

Yet Sims turned around and talked about the things he likes to do to help a team win. Things like diving on the floor for a loose ball, taking a charge, playing defense, being aggressive and grabbing a rebound. Sound familiar? Hayes did all those things for Kentucky — and was proud to do them.

Sims apparently is a better shooter than Hayes. Or at least he has far more confidence that he can step outside and hit a shot when needed.

"I do little things. It's just they may not be done quite the same way Chuck did," Sims said. "I also know I can score, but I may not have to score that much here. I really don't judge my game based on scoring."

Sims has that same engaging personality as Hayes. He was relaxed and happy as media members asked him about a variety of subjects. To me, that merely confirmed he indeed has the maturity that going to prep school for one year and then two years of junior college should bring. He's not likely to be in awe of anything that happens on or off the court — and that's one big reason Smith wanted him.

He's also thrilled to be at Kentucky. Once the Wildcats made him an offer, his recruiting was basically over.

"I always wanted to play at this level. Texas A&M dedicated a lot of time and tried really hard to get me," Sims said. "It took some time for Kentucky to notice me. When they did jump in, that was it. There was no question where I was going once Kentucky became a choice. How can you turn down Kentucky? I couldn't. I used to just dream of being somewhere like this. Now my dream has come true."

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