VAUGHT: Morris happy to be playing at UK

Randolph Morris

Whenever Randolph Morris starts feeling bad about the way he's playing, he remembers one important thing -- at least he is back playing for Kentucky.

"I really don't know how I would judge this season until it is over. Right now, I am just happy to be playing. The NCAA could have ruled not in favor me. I should not even be playing. That is the way I am looking at it because they ruled in my behalf and I can't thank them enough for that. If we can go deep in the (NCAA) tournament, that would make it a successful season for me and one I would really appreciate," said Morris.

Morris missed Kentucky's first 14 games after putting his name into the NBA draft last summer. He wasn't drafted, but he had to apply to have his eligibility at UK restored after working out with various NBA teams.

"I still think back to when I didn't know if I could play," Morris said. "I appreciate this opportunity just to be here at the NCAA Tournament. Basketball is a team game. It is all about teamwork and depending on the other guys on your team. There would have been a big gap in my basketball career if I had not been reinstated."

Morris won't say he was more worried than he was willing to admit as he waited for the NCAA ruling on his status because he made himself stay confident. But he admits there were doubts. "I viewed it as if I didn't stay confident, I might not get reinstated. I always felt I would get to do this again, but I never was really sure. I had to learn to cope with the possibility of not playing. I didn't know what was going to happen with my future. Not knowing if I would be eligible again or not and would get to play another college basketball game brought into perspective that this is a special moment of my life that I should cherish," Morris said.

He says he had a "crazy summer with all that went down" and he's happy just to be backing wearing the UK uniform and "playing my heart out for Kentucky."

Morris is now a NBA free agent meaning any team could approach him and make an offer he could accept at any time between now and the start of next season. Will UK fans have to go through another "crazy summer" with Morris? "I doubt it. I seriously doubt it," Morris said.

What if teammate Rajon Rondo decided he might be ready to make a move to the NBA this summer? Would Morris have any advice for him?

"I am always here to share my past experience if anyone has any questions. I will talk to anyone about what went down and what to do and what not to do. That's the least I could do for any of my teammates," Morris said.

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