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2007-2-26 Interview with William B. Keightley, February 26, 2007 AF008:2007OH059 A/F 747 00:53:43 William B. Keightley Oral History Project Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries University of Kentucky -- Basketball. Feldhaus, Deron. Woods, Sean. Farmer, Richie. Pelphrey, John. Pitino, Rick. Sutton, Eddie. College athletes -- Recruiting. Weight training. Basketball players -- Kentucky. Basketball coaches -- Kentucky. Keightley, William B.; Interviewee Suchanek, Jeffrey; Interviewer keightley_af_0747 1:|8(3)|15(7)|29(13)|44(14)|52(5)|64(7)|83(1)|93(3)|108(12)|123(5)|142(12)|164(4)|174(15)|183(10)|207(4)|232(4)|250(6)|262(9)|279(18)|296(16)|315(3)|327(4)|345(11)|359(16)|380(1)|391(19)|409(7)|416(12)|426(7)|440(5)|446(7)|454(13)|475(1)|497(12)|511(13)|538(4)|571(13)|593(7)|607(4)|621(14)|641(7)|669(5)|683(8)|701(10)|727(12)|734(5)|742(16)|760(6)|779(13)|790(7)|803(1)|813(11)|839(12) audiotrans BKeight interview SUCHANEK: It's February 26, 2007, this is Jeff Suchanek and I'm interviewing Mr. William B. Keightley again in his office in Memorial Coliseum. We're talking about the UK basketball team. Mr. Keightley, last time you introduced Rick Pitino and got him on board, now over the weekend, I was thinking, that unforgettable team in '92, do you think if they, if they played today, they'd be as good as they were in '92, or was it just because of the new style of playing made them look better than they were. KEIGHTLEY: Well, I think at, at that point in time, yes, the new style of play enhanced their effectiveness. But 'course, on the plus side here, these kids all had great basketball sense, they had a feel for the game and they were, they were clever because they did think on the court and they were easy to coach because they picked up what the coaches would try to tell them very quickly, so as we maybe have talked a little earlier, the game now, most people play the helter skelter full court game so that is not as effective now as it was back in those early years of the unforgettables. But, they were very adept at that style of play and of course we really didn't have early on, any, any kids that had a lot of size but... SUCHANEK: Right. I think Feldhaus might have been the biggest guy... KEIGHTLEY: That's right. SUCHANEK: and he was what? 6'9''? KEIGHTLEY: No, Deron was about 6'7''. SUCHANEK: Was he? KEIGHTLEY: And you know Deron had a long body and short legs (laughter) and so, but they, they knew how to play, they knew how to block off and no group of kids ever played with any more heart than that group of kids. You know as I stated earlier, whatever the, the future of Kentucky basketball is, this, this bunch of young men laid the foundation. SUCHANEK: Let's talk about some of the players in those early years. Let's start off with John Pelphrey. KEIGHTLEY: Well, John Leslie you remember was really a fine high school player and quite naturally... SUCHANEK: Where was he from? KEIGHTLEY: He, he was from Paintsville... SUCHANEK: Ok. KEIGHTLEY: and they had really a real fine high school team and they one of the top 2 teams in the state during his last couple years he was there. John wasn't at that time Eddie Sutton was here and really we didn't recruit John Leslie as hard as many Kentuckians thought we should and because he had, Eddie had his son Sean Sutton lot of people thought that was why we weren't recruiting John Leslie. But that's neither here nor there, I recall we went on the road, played an afternoon game and Paintsville was to play Henry Clay High School where Sean attended that, that evening. And we got back home and of course we're going to witness that game. But the people from Paintsville had quite a few signs they were carrying you know about encouraging Eddie maybe to really check John Leslie a little bit more closely than he had been, and of course John Leslie had an outstanding game and so we you know wound up and we recruited him, and of course he red-shirted a year here. SUCHANEK: That's right, I recall that. KEIGHTLEY: Yes, but the strange thing, he and Sean Patrick became really, really close friends and fact, before, before John Leslie went to Florida with Billy Donovan, I believe he maybe served a year with Eddie as a grad assistant. SUCHANEK: Oh, at Oklahoma? KEIGHTLEY: At, at Oklahoma, yes. And then he went on to join Billy at, at Florida. But John Leslie is a true Kentuckian. His, both his parents were teachers and he was just a wonderful young man and of course you can't say anything but positive things about any of these, these kids that was on that team, but John Leslie is doing quite well at South Alabama... SUCHANEK: Is he? KEIGHTLEY: the last, the last two years, he's, you know you can't build a program overnight, so he's, you know it's a, you know they play of course Division 1 but it would be classified a mid-major, but John Leslie has done an outstanding job and he always was like a coach on the floor. SUCHANEK: You had a bunch of those kind of players on those early teams. KEIGHTLEY: Oh, why yes we did. Yes. You know, our Commissioner of Agriculture was a bright young man, Richie Farmer... SUCHANEK: Right. KEIGHTLEY: He probably knew more about basketball than he did about farming (laughter) although he was an Ag major. I can't see Richie behind the, behind the handle of a plow with a couple horses pulling the plow. No, I don't see that one. (laughter). SUCHANEK: You know, you mentioned Billy Donovan and he was an assistant coach here under Rick Pitino. Tell me about Billy Donovan. KEIGHTLEY: Oh well, good old Billy, of course they called him "Billy the Kid" and he is today just exactly the same young man he was when he was here. He, he's "Billy the Kid." You know, he's a, he's kind of a jokester, has a lot of fun, comes from a great family. His dad was a college basketball player at, at Providence and Billy is just a clone of his dad and of course when he, when he was here he, Rick brought in another young guy, about the same age, Herb Sendek and Herb was always the serious one and Billy was always the prankster. They'd of course they had nicknames for each other, course. SUCHANEK: Of course Tubby was here too. KEIGHTLEY: Yeah, Tubby was here. SUCHANEK: How did he fit in with the, that group? KEIGHTLEY: Oh well, he'd, Tubby, you know he fits in with any group. I mean he's a joker and a prankster and, and Tubby, you know he, he fit in quite well and... SUCHANEK: They used to have, Coach Pitino used to have scrimmages amongst the coaches early in the morning, didn't he? KEIGHTLEY: Oh yes, we'd play at either 5:30 or 6. SUCHANEK: I remember reading a story where Tubby said he used to, he used to sleep in his gym clothes so all he had to do was put his shoes on. KEIGHTLEY: Absolutely did. So he didn't have to get up and put them on of the morning. I, I guess maybe that indicated maybe he wasn't really a morning person (laughter). But there was a lot of them. We had that strength coach Rock Oliver. He'd come in mad and he broke Tubby, he broke a rib for Tubby one morning out here at one of these games. They all, you know Rick gonna play. Rick is the, he's the official, the scorekeeper, and he, he really is a bad scorekeeper. I mean this man, he, he, you, you gotta really watch him. He'll fudge and everybody knows he's fudging and then they're all afraid to argue with him. And then they get mad at each other, but not mad at Rick. (laughter). SUCHANEK: Were, were those pretty intense? KEIGHTLEY: Oh man, they played, they played really, really hard. SUCHANEK: Rick took that seriously didn't he? KEIGHTLEY: Oh yeah he... SUCHANEK: What's the object of that do you think? KEIGHTLEY: Well, I'll tell you what the object was. Rick was somewhat like myself in that he didn't require a lot of sleep. He's got all that boundless energy and you know he'd wake up at 5 o'clock in the morning and he's ready to go for the day and if he'd get that little work out in there, then maybe he wouldn't spend hardly as much time in the weight room on the bike. Of course he had a bike at home and a treadmill and all those things, but he, he worked out religiously, and but yeah, those games, we'd have some of the towns people would come in on a, on a regular basis. SUCHANEK: Was that, was that different than the other coaches? I mean would Adolf Rupp... KEIGHTLEY: Oh yes. SUCHANEK: and Joe B. Hall and Eddie Sutton were they working out? KEIGHTLEY: No, they, no, no, they didn't, they didn't work out. Of course in those, with Joe B. here the only work out facilities we had was over at Shively Sports Center and they had free weights over there. They didn't have any of these fancy machines we have today. They were just, they, they were just free weights. SUCHANEK: When did this come in, in to vogue, when did you get those machines? KEIGHTLEY: Well they of course SUCHANEK: Was that during (unintelligible-both people talking)? KEIGHTLEY: Rick, Rick shortly after he, he came here and he got Rock Oliver for the strength coach, they started laying in some of these more sophisticated machines than we'd had previously. About the only thing we ever had in the Coliseum was called a Leaper. It was where you had a, you had a weight; it was a weight resistant gadget where the harder you pressed, the more, the more.... SUCHANEK: Resistance? KEIGHTLEY: Yes and it was really probably at that time it was hard on the lower back and I don't know if we ever realized, probably that thing may have maybe have done more damage than it did good. Of course, you would never see that now. And we, yes we introduced those, the weights as a intricate part of our conditioning and still did the same thing though on the, on the track as we did when Joe B. was here for conditioning prior to the beginning of the, the regular season practice we'd go to Shively Sports Center 3 days a week and run maybe 16-220's or might run... SUCHANEK: That's a lot. KEIGHTLEY: We ran, we ran a lot of dashes, 100 yard dashes and it was a lot, a lot of distance running with giving like the big guys maybe for a mile give 'em like 5-50 and the guards maybe about 4-8. Give them something they really they really could hardly do but... SUCHANEK: Remember when they used to have those weight jackets... KEIGHTLEY: Oh yes. SUCHANEK: ankle weights? KEIGHTLEY: Oh yes, yes. SUCHANEK: Those were more in the '60's I guess than in the 70's. KEIGHTLEY: Yeah, we used, we had one kid that came in here from Detroit that was a renowned leaper by the name of Bob Fowler that used those ankle weights. He'd, he'd wear them all over, all over campus through the day but... SUCHANEK: But you remember weight jackets don't you? KEIGHTLEY: Oh yeah, yes sir, yes sir. SUCHANEK: I remember running in those. KEIGHTLEY: Yes, they filled with sand in the, in the pockets of 'em. SUCHANEK: That's right. KEIGHTLEY: Yeah and, well, that was kind of like the caveman days now. SUCHANEK: That's right, were talking about... KEIGHTLEY: Yes, yes. SUCHANEK: Probably couldn't get players to wear them today. KEIGHTLEY: Yeah, I don't know if you could find a, a weight jacket anywhere. You might. SUCHANEK: I might have one. KEIGHTLEY: Of course, I'm not gonna look for one, I can tell you that. (laughter). SUCHANEK: So you think the, you know these emphasis on weight training really started to happen during Rick Pitino's days or...? KEIGHTLEY: No, well Joe B. was a strong believer in, in the weights also, but of course, as I say, it's different than it is today and can I say that today is better? No, I can't say its better, but it's more of a sophisticated thing now. You know now, today, even the rifle team takes weight training. SUCHANEK: Really? KEIGHTLEY: There not anybody that don't work out in the weight room, the golfers, the women golfers, the gymnasts. SUCHANEK: Well, I, I could see that. (SUCHANEK and KEIGHTLEY say the same thing at the same time-All of them (unintelligible) KEIGHTLEY: Yeah, had to work in the weight room. SUCHANEK: I can remember back in the day when they didn't want you to lift weights. You'd just become too muscle-bound. Do you remember that? KEIGHTLEY: Oh yes, yes-siree. Yes, especially you know the, the sprinters. A guy like who at one time was probably the fastest human in America was Jim Green. In fact I saw something about him in the paper and didn't get to read the story last weekend about Black history month. You know, Jim, he met all the fast runners of that era and, and he defeated most of them. But he was from Eminence, Kentucky and I guarantee he never did any weight training (laughter) in his life. From just what you said, didn't want to become muscle-bound. You just trained yourself to run and run. Like one of the, years ago, one of the great sprinters and distance runners was a guy from South Africa by the name of Kipkoech and you know that he never had weight training. SUCHANEK: He was too busy running up (unintelligible-both gentlemen speaking at the same time). KEIGHTLEY: He'd be going hunting. That's right (laughter). SUCHANEK: Well, when they did start weight training, I remember they used a lot of free weights... KEIGHTLEY: Oh yeah. SUCHANEK: and people were hurting themselves on those things... KEIGHTLEY: Yes. SUCHANEK: So then they came up with these more sophisticated machines where you get the work out but can't hurt yourself. KEIGHTLEY: Yes, yes, that's very true. Yeah, you could, I know one year, it was about '82 or '83, we had 6 guys on the basketball team that could clean and jerk over 300lbs and the football team had 2. (laughter). Of course we used to kid about it if we ever got into a game with a team with a weight lifting contest you know no contest but... SUCHANEK: Who's the strongest player you think we've ever had? KEIGHTLEY: Oh, that's kinda hard to say, although one comes to my mind by the name of Tom Heitz. He was extremely strong. Bret Bearup was really strong. SUCHANEK: What about Jamaal Magloire, was he strong? KEIGHTLEY: Oh yes, yes, yeah, yeah Jamaal was born strong. SUCHANEK: And mean. KEIGHTLEY: (laughter) And mean, and mean, that's right. SUCHANEK: See, that's what this team is lacking this year. KEIGHTLEY: It is, yeah its, I, I think I probably till we talk about Magloire, might be a little, little ahead of times but I think I told you bout how the, the fans at Florida or the students always got after him, yes and about his reply. SUCHANEK: No we didn't talk about that. KEIGHTLEY: No we didn't, no we didn't. SUCHANEK: No, we didn't talk about that. KEIGHTLEY: Oh, they just, they just waited for Jamaal to hit the floor you know, to come out shooting around. They bet and they'd have all kinds of signs, leaning over and pointing at him because you know, we manhandled everybody. They'd just, they'd just be carrying on and he walked out, he stopped, he looked them over and he yelled up at 'em "How you girls tonight?" (laughter). SUCHANEK: That's exactly his personality. Come on down and do something about it. KEIGHTLEY: Yeah, we, we talked with Tubby and we talked about that this week. You, you need one of those guys. SUCHANEK: Oh man, I mean Magloire was, we'll talk about him later like you said, I mean nobody went into the lane when Magloire was there. KEIGHTLEY: See, if, if we'd have had a player such as Chuck Hayes, I could name you 5 games right now we would not have lost. We would not have lost yesterday. We wouldn't have lost to, we wouldn't have lost to Alabama. We wouldn't have lost to Georgia, because he wouldn't, hey, he'd thwart a comeback, and we would not have lost to Michigan State in the, in the regional finals 3, 4 years ago or whatever had he had been in the game at that, at the 4 minute mark, which he wasn't in the game. When they got 4 consecutive offensive rebounds to take the lead, it wouldn't have happened with Jamaal, with Chuck. So you've got to have one of those guys. You know he didn't dazzle you with his, his points scored. SUCHANEK: He just willed you to win. KEIGHTLEY: He willed to win. If you needed a rebound, he's gonna get it. He was gonna do whatever it would take to get it. SUCHANEK: Does, does Coach understand to try and recruit someone like that? KEIGHTLEY: Well, you just have to focus in on a guy like that and go after him early and not worry about how you know, why he can't play here, let's just find that one reason he can because he's got the will to win. And you know what? SUCHANEK: You know Tayshaun Prince was like that too. KEIGHTLEY: Well, he had a will to win, that's right. He didn't have the physical strength like McGloire, but he had the will to win. And of course, we know, you see him and I see him, and but I'll tell you yesterday who, who did a great job for us, was Orbzut Woo. Yesterday hey, they couldn't push him around. And he got in there and he fought and knocked people around and he was a force. SUCHANEK: You know... KEIGHTLEY: and was a force. SUCHANEK: I've always thought when he played at least this year, or at all the games I've seen him play, he gives you 110% effort. He's not the most talented guy, but he gives you effort. KEIGHTLEY: No, but, we needed to adjust to his style of play which is facing the basket. SUCHANEK: He's good at that. KEIGHTLEY: He cannot play with his back to the basket because he does not have court sense. He don't know where he is. And when he gets it if his back is to the basket, he don't shoot it, he throws it. If a basket gets in the way, it goes in (laughter). But you let him, you let him face the basket... SUCHANEK: He's deadly. KEIGHTLEY: and he can get the shot off because of his height. SUCHANEK: Right, he's shooting down at the basket. KEIGHTLEY: Yeah, he, he, it just didn't fit our style. But you know, sometimes you need to make an adjustment to capitalize on... SUCHANEK: Well, you know I think that's, you know I'm not disparaging anyone here, but all of the really great baseball managers or basketball coaches, you play to the style that your players play. KEIGHTLEY: Yes, that they can play. If you've got them, don't try to make them play your style if they can't. SUCHANEK: Right. KEIGHTLEY: You've got to be astute enough to realize what they can and can't do and you know, of course, and again it won't amount to much, because I don't hold European basketball I'm talking about as a club sport, as a way to make money. But, I do know that the Europeans are great shooters and Woo will go back to Poland and he, he'll have a career as a four man because he can shoot the ball and it will happen. SUCHANEK: That's a shame. KEIGHTLEY: Yea it is. SUCHANEK: Kind of a wasted 4 years, right? KEIGHTLEY: Yep. And of course, for Woo, he capitalized on everything we had to offer. You know as I told you before at the end of 2 years, he had 85 college credit hours. He took the classes anytime he had any spare time, he was gonna take a class. And he did it in, in 4 week session and in the summer school and carried a heavy load through the regular semesters. SUCHANEK: I think his, his priorities were right. KEIGHTLEY: They were. Yes, absolutely. SUCHANEK: Let's talk about Deron Feldhaus now. KEIGHTLEY: Well, of course Deron, he came from, his, his dad was one of the truly, we're talking; we just got done talking about strong people. There, there, there's one to that I omitted was Allen Feldhaus, Deron's father. He, he had the build, he had a chiseled body. His shoulders were about 52, his waist was probably 34. He was rougher than a freight train, of course he played for Coach Rupp and being a bit like we discussed earlier, a guy like Chuck Hayes, Allen, Allen played his roll. He knew what it was, he knew he was a rebounder, he played defense and he could score, but that wasn't his first priority. So he passed that, that trait on to Deron. And they, the Feldhaus family was really a great family. Of course Deron had two more brothers and both were players. They played, one played at Morehead and one played at Eastern but.... SUCHANEK: Was he, was he the youngest? KEIGHTLEY: Yes, Deron was the youngest. There were Allen, Allen Jr. and Willie, they were older than Deron and... SUCHANEK: As far as his style of play, I recall him always hanging around the basket and getting those kind of cheap baskets, and you know tip ins and that kind of stuff. KEIGHTLEY: Yeah well, you know he was, as I say, his dad passed a little of that strength on to Deron. SUCHANEK: And he was only what? 6'7''? KEIGHTLEY: Yes, that's stretching it really and but Allen Sr. was about 6'6'', but he, he was a coach and Deron's mother was a teacher. Yeah Deron, had a, had a fantastic high school career and he 'course upon conclusion of his eligibility here, Deron went on to Japan and he was there 3 or 4 years and his last year there he was an assistant coach. So he did quite well in Japan and the Japanese really, really liked Deron. I'll tell you why, you got to be really disciplined to work with the Japanese. Well Allen or Deron was really, really disciplined and his career probably would have lasted longer but in Japan, it's what you refer to as a club sport and that being teams of a big manufacturing company they hire the real good Japanese players, which is where the Japanese get their Olympic team from. (SUCHANEK is fixing tape recorder) But, when he assumed the position as an assistant to the head coach, well the Japanese are renowned for moving people, moving 'em out if things don't go exactly right. So, they terminated the head coach so that kind of left Deron no place to come but home, but he was ready to come home. And he invested his money wisely, he, he and ... SUCHANEK: Where is he at now? KEIGHTLEY: He's in Maysville and he, he owns a golf course. He is one of the better golfers in this state. Deron Feldhaus. SUCHANEK: Really. KEIGHTLEY: I mean the drives he can hit is unbelievable. But he is just about a scratch golfer. But he, he bought this golf course, his dad had a golf course and so... SUCHANEK: Is he from Maysville? KEIGHTLEY: He, he's from Maysville. Well, his dad was originally from Northern Kentucky, Hebron was where his dad played basketball... SUCHANEK: Ok. KEIGHTLEY: Boone County, but yeah he, because his dad was coaching at, at Mason County. SUCHANEK: He didn't play golf here though, did he? KEIGHTLEY: No, no, nope. No golf and basketball don't mix here, only for the coaches. SUCHANEK: I remember when was it Derek Smith? He was a, he tried, he was a tight-end here on the football team here a couple of years ago. KEIGHTLEY: Yes. SUCHANEK: And he tried to play basketball? Was that his name Derek, Derrick Smith? KEIGHTLEY: That's right. Derek Smith. Yes. SUCHANEK: That doesn't work very often does it? KEIGHTLEY: Well, this one never did get a chance because you know you don't throw stones but... SUCHANEK: Was that Hal Mumme, was he coach then? He didn't want him playing basketball. KEIGHTLEY: No, you know what, before he signed the football scholarship, he was told he could play both sports and I know that we helped recruit him. After he got here and he got through his first year of playing football, then Mumme loaded him up with a load in the classroom that really just didn't allow him enough time to condition and to play. And it was, you know it was a shame because that was a great kid, but see that when you hear it's a rare thing today that you could play both sports. SUCHANEK: Right. KEIGHTLEY: But this kid probably could have. You know, after he went and declared himself eligible for the pros and didn't make it, you know he went to Northern Kentucky and played for 2 years. SUCHANEK: That's right he did, didn't he. He tried out for the Bengal's I think? Didn't he, yeah. KEIGHTLEY: Yeah that's right, yes, yes. But, yeah that was, I've still, I've still got a jersey over there, I saw it the other day, with his name on it... SUCHANEK: Really. KEIGHTLEY: D. Smith. Because see, we had Saul Smith back at that time. SUCHANEK: Right, yeah, I, I'm trying to think, did he play, he played one year right, but he didn't, for us on the basketball team but he didn't play. KEIGHTLEY: No he didn't, no he never... SUCHANEK: He never... KEIGHTLEY: he came out for practice about twice... SUCHANEK: Oh, ok. KEIGHTLEY: And no, he never, never played at all. SUCHANEK: Ok. KEIGHTLEY: Just because they, they got him, they got him loaded up to where he couldn't. Same thing kind of happened with Dennis Johnson. You know, he was a pretty skilled... SUCHANEK: That's right. KEIGHTLEY: basketball player. SUCHANEK: Defensive end. KEIGHTLEY: And then, yeah. SUCHANEK: What ever happened to him? Did he...? KEIGHTLEY: Dennis is, Dennis was in here sometime within the last month. He's... SUCHANEK: Did he, he never made a pro team though did he? KEIGHTLEY: Huh? SUCHANEK: Dennis Johnson, he never made a pro team did he? KEIGHTLEY: Yeah, yeah... SUCHANEK: Did he? KEIGHTLEY: He played for the Arizona Cardinals for 2 years. SUCHANEK: Oh did he. KEIGHTLEY: Yes. SUCHANEK: Was he starting for them? KEIGHTLEY: Never did start, but his second year, he played, he played a lot of minutes and then they had a change, they had a change, they had a change in ownership and the coaching staff and he never did, they never did resign him again. SUCHANEK: And he wasn't picked up by anyone else? KEIGHTLEY: And he wasn't picked up by anyone else. He tried several other teams that worked out for him, but nobody ever picked him up. SUCHANEK: Yeah, I remember there was a little controversy with him when he came here to play football because his, his dad suddenly was a U.K. Employee too on the coaching staff. KEIGHTLEY: Yes, yeah, yeah. Alvis, Alvis Johnson, his dad was one of the, one of the finest people I was ever associated with. His dad was a one time was the National Teacher of the Year. SUCHANEK: Really? KEIGHTLEY: Yeah, which is a pretty good honor you know for high school. SUCHANEK: Yea, not bad. KEIGHTLEY: Not bad, and was a great administrator and of course he came here and they in not too long ago, within the last 6 months, they combined that position with another position and that left, that left Alvis out in the cold. But he had retired from, from high school teaching and coaching as an administrator so, yeah he's back in Harrodsburg and been elected to some political office, doing quite well. SUCHANEK: Tell me about Richie Farmer then. KEIGHTLEY: Yeah, Richie Farmer was another one. You know he, all the way through high school, people wanted to try to find a reason why Richie couldn't play instead of why he could. SUCHANEK: Well, as I recall the first year he was here they said the same thing. KEIGHTLEY: Oh yeah. Yep. And Richie in high school at that, that point in time, one of the NBA greats now, or past greats, Allan Houston, played for Ballard High School... SUCHANEK: Right. KEIGHTLEY: and Ballard and Clay County for about 3 years, they played in the state tournament for the state championship and of course it would be Richie against Allan Houston. They never participated in a game that Richie did not outscore or outshine Allan Houston. Yet he was about 6 feet tall, wasn't particularly fast, little stocky body... SUCHANEK: That's right. KEIGHTLEY: and he was an unusual person in the fact that he's natural left handed and shot the basketball right handed. Didn't do another single thing, would throw the baseball left-handed. SUCHANEK: Really. KEIGHTELY: and yet playing basketball he was right handed and he was a heck of a shooter, yes you're right, Rick tried to find a reason not to play him. SUCHANEK: That's right. KEIGHTLEY: Now I, I know he used to come to me and say "Mr. Bill, what do I have to do?" and I used to say "I don't know Richie, all I can tell you, you'd better show up for practice everyday". So he, he hung in there and you know became a folk hero. SUCHANEK: Fan-favorite, exactly, exactly. KEIGHTLEY: And he's ridden it all the way to Frankfort (laughter). SUCHANEK: Yes he has, hasn't he? KEIGHTLEY: But he, he was a very unique person. Early on he had early aspirations of going to Med school, and he wound up with his major in Agriculture. SUCHANEK: Agriculture. He wanted to help with the cows. (laughter) KEIGHTLEY: And I still say, "I don't know if he could find a plow or not". (laughter), but that, that was his major now he... SUCHANEK: Maybe he wanted to be a veterinarian. KEIGHTLEY: Yeah, well he's.... SUCHANEK: How often do you talk to Richie? KEIGHTLEY: Oh I, a, probably at least once a month. SUCHANEK: Really? KEIGHTLEY: Yeah. SUCHANEK: Does he call you? KEIGHTLEY: Oh yes he, he got 3 little boys right now and they are wild Indians. SUCHANEK: Can they shoot like he did? (laughter) KEIGHTLEY: I don't know, it's, it's hard to say, but yep Richie, Richie was a joy. SUCHANEK: What kind of practice player was Richie? KEIGHTLEY: Oh he was great! As I say, little ole stubby guy running around and hey he'd get a shot off just like that. You didn't want him to get set to shoot because it might not go in (laughter), you just let him alone. SUCHANEK: Right, don't leave him too wide open. KEIGHTLEY: Yes, just like one of the kids we've got now, Jodie Meeks, just, just don't worry about trying to teach Jodie anything about shooting. Just let him alone. If he jumps up in front of somebody and lets it go, just forget about it. It might not go in, but that's the way he, that's the way he shoots and he's going to hit a bunch of them. Now, when he has to think about it, they don't go in, so kind of like hitting a baseball. If you can hit it, don't mess with them. SUCHANEK: That's right. KEIGHTLEY: Too many people want to help other people become shooters. Which, you know, you just got to be, to be a shooter you got to be relaxed and use your own, your own style. SUCHANEK: That's right. KEIGHTLEY: You don't have time to start thinking about now is my hands to the left, or the right, or you just got to jump up, well we talked about Wayne Turner. It wasn't pretty, but we had to give up. (laughter). SUCHANEK: That's right. Now I remember, I think it was before his junior season, season, junior or senior season, he said he had been working on his jump shot all summer. In the first game, there he was. KEIGHTLEY: right back again. SUCHANEK: Right back again, yeah. KEIGHTLEY: That's like that old song, doing what comes naturally. That's the way he, that's the basketball players are. It's, when you get at this stage, like a junior or senior in college, you can either shoot it or you can't and your chances of becoming a better shooter is, is not much. SUCHANEK: How about Sean Woods? KEIGHTLEY: Well, now there's a guy that wasn't necessarily a great shooter... SUCHANEK: But he hit a big shot. KEIGHTLEY: Yes, that's right. He did and banked it in too. SUCHANEK: Yes he did. (KEIGHTLEY speaks-unintelligible) Well, I'm sure he called it (laughter). KEIGHTLEY: And not only that, it wasn't a soft one. SUCHANEK: It was a brick. KEIGHTLEY: It's just like I talked about Woo a few minutes ago, the basket happened to get in the way (laughter). But Sean had great speed, great strength and he, he, he was a winner. He, he had the will to win. He didn't like to, he didn't like the losing part of it and he carried that over in, into his coaching. Now I, I believe he may be, he was at High Point and I think he moved somewhere into Texas as an assistant coach. But he's, he's pretty, he's pretty possessed with the game. He's kind of hard, kinda hard to live with it comes to basketball and execution. He, he, he gonna, he gonna do it his way. But Sean was a great kid. He was from Indianapolis but all his family were from here in Lexington, his grandmother. So at heart, he, he was another Kentuckian. SUCHANEK: How did he get along with Coach? KEIGHTLEY: Well, well you know, Coach is going to prevail and sometimes players don't take his advice as soon as he may like for them to (laughter) and Woody, being one of those. But Sean being the competitor he is, just, he just prevailed (phone rings and KEIGHTLEY talks about the call and caller) But, but you know Woody was, you know what, we're sitting here talking about that and you know the Unforgettables jerseys are hanging in Rupp Arena, but it seems to me because Woody didn't get his class work completed, I believe that Rick removed his jersey. SUCHANEK: Really. KEIGHTLEY: I'm going to have to check on that. SUCHANEK: You'll have to get it up there again. KEIGHTLEY: This is just something you and I are talking about. SUCHANEK: Yeah, you're gonna have to get it up there again. KEIGHTLEY: Yea, but I don't know if he still completed it. SUCHANEK: Is that a requirement? KEIGHTLEY: Well, if you were going to be a head coach at a college level, yes, yes. But as an assistant, I think you can, you can knock along without it. But you know what I don't know if he ever completed that or not but maybe its back up. I gotta to check on that. SUCHANEK: Yes sir. KEIGHTLEY: I'm glad you brought that question up now. SUCHANEK: How about Carlos Toomer? KEIGHTLEY: Well sir, Carlos Toomer, haven't see him for about a year now. SUCHANEK: As I recall, when we recruited him, we wanted his teammate and not particularly him. KEIGHTLEY: Oh yea, we wanted the Davis kid and not Carlos. But you know Rick is a very impulsive recruiter because he, he don't like to recruit. But when it comes to judging talent, I don't know that, that, that Rick is, is great at that because he's too impulsive. But he's always had great people around him, for instance, Herb Sendek and Billy Donovan. I'm just talking about the more recent ones that... SUCHANEK: They were good evaluators of talent? KEIGHTLEY: Yea, great, great at evaluating talent. In fact, you know I just noticed maybe it was in yesterday's paper where, of course you know, we haven't had any McDonald's All-American's for awhile and the last ones we got haven't panned out, but I see where you know Rick, really coming in next year the players he's got coming are people that nobody really knows much about. So, yeah it's, you can't, you really can't be too impulsive when it comes to recruiting. SUCHANEK: Now Carlos Toomer looked like a ball player. KEIGHTLEY: Yeah he had a great body, he had a lot of quickness, but he was one of, one of Rick's duds. He, he just, he just couldn't play. Nor neither could the other one that we didn't get. SUCHANEK: Davis? (laughter) KEIGHTLEY: Yes, Davis. No but Carlos left here, he went to St. Louis University. He left St. Louis, enlisted in the Air Force because his father was a career Army officer. And I don't recall how long Carlos stayed in, but he, whenever he finished up his tour of duty with the Air Force, he came out decided he was going to be an actor. He was a real handsome, SUCHANEK: Yeah. KEIGHTLEY: clean-cut, chiseled, great personality and he came back here a couple or three times and hung around town, and always trying to find him self in life. And he finally maybe a little over a year ago since I saw him last I guess, he, we wasn't certain where he was staying; we, we thought maybe he was staying in, in the Coliseum but he was still neat as a pin. (laughter) And now as to where Carlos is today, I do not know, but I haven't seen anything about him in Hollywood (laughter). SUCHANEK: He wasn't at the Oscars, right? KEIGHTLEY: I don't think so (laughter). SUCHANEK: I remember when he was recruited and maybe it was his freshman, did he stay one or two years? KEIGHTLEY: Two years. SUCHANEK: Yeah, and one of the other coaches in the SEC was, was making fun of, of Coach Pitino for recruiting him. KEIGHTLEY: Yes. SUCHANEK: I don't know if it was Dale Brown or maybe, I don't know who it was and, and I remember Rick bristled at that. KEIGHTLEY: Yeah. SUCHANEK: He said something about, you know "Well he wouldn't know talent if he ran into it on the street" you know. (laughter). KEIGHTLEY: Yeah I think you can, if you judge Rick by that one, it pretty much is the way it is. You talked about Dale Brown, I just, let's see here what'd I do with that thing, I just got a note from that rascal. SUCHANEK: Really? KEIGHTLEY: He never, this Dale, oh no that's not Dale, what the heck, you know what he never ever stops. He's, he's always promoting something. Here I'll let you read that little thing, just you know, that's just... (end of tape) Keightley talks about "The Unforgettables", Pitino's 1991-92 seniors who made it to the NCAA Championship game in their first year of eligibility after suspension only to have first place snatched away by Duke in the final 12 seconds of the game. He discusses starting players, their reactions to Pitino's coaching, their individual talents, and where they ended up after their college careers. Keightley also remembers the early morning coaches scrimmages under Pitino, major changes in style of play in the early 1990s, recruiting efforts, and the increased emphasis on weight training for all athletes. UKAW; University of Kentucky Men's Basketball