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Kentucky Basketball 2008: Who is Kevin Galloway?

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Just so we don't lose sight of the fact that the advent of football season means we are under 90 days toward Big Blue Madness, I'll be taking a look at this year's incoming players in as much detail as the Internet will allow.

Vital Statistics
Player name: Kevin Galloway High School: Sacramento High (CA)
Height: 6'7” Class: Junior
Weight: 230 lb. Position: Guard/Forward
Date of Birth: 05/22/88 Hometown: Sacramento, CA

Kevin Galloway is known as a good passer, rebounder and defender.  According to MaxPreps, Galloway averaged almost 12 points, 13 rebounds, 11 assists and 2 blocked shots in his senior year in high school.  He was originally signed by Southern California, and played in the 2006-2007 season for the Trojans. His impact on that team was relatively minimal, coming mostly against lesser competition.  He did have 2.2 assists per game in 13 games played, which is not exactly eye-popping, but is pretty good for a freshman in his first season.  He also managed to start one game for Tim Floyd.

After his first year, Galloway attempted to transfer to Fresno State University, but was academically ineligible to enroll.  That lead to the decision to enroll in junior college at the College of Southern Idaho, which lauds itself on its website as the "Winningest junior college basketball program in the United States."  At CSI, Galloway averaged just over 8 points, 4 rebounds and 8.5 assists per game, with an A/T ratio of about 2.4/1.  CSI averaged around 110 points per game, which suggests to me they could not have played very much defense.


So what does this indicate for Galloway at UK?  How does he fit into coach Gillispie's system?  Some have suggested that Galloway is similar to Derrick Jasper, and that comparison seems pretty apt.  Galloway is known to be a good ballhandler and an excellent passer, but despite his solid percentages from the arc at CSI, he seems to be a reluctant shooter.  His size and length are very similar to Ramon Harris, and I expect him to play like a combination of Ramon Harris and Derrick Jasper.  Better ballhandling and passing than Harris, a better defender than Jasper.

Galloway is the type of player that can be expected to contribute 15-20 minutes per game, get you some rebounds, assists, garbage points, and play tough defense.  He could play some point guard, but I suspect he will have more of a hybrid role, spending most of his time at the 3 with some offense-initiation responsibilities depending on the mix of personnel in the game, much as Jasper did last year.  It allows Gillispie the flexibility to move Miller to the off-guard position a bit, and that's good because Miller needs to learn to play that spot, even though his quickness on defense is a bit of a question mark against an SEC-quality two guard.  It also allows Kentucky to play a style similar to the Louisville teams of the 1980's, where Denny Crum had a bunch of similar-sized players that offered him great flexibility on any given offensive set.  Then, as now, Gillispie can confuse the opponent by posting up his wing players and having a 6'6" guard/forward initiate the offense.

In the final analysis, Galloway's role is likely to be that of a classic "glue guy," the jack of all trades that comes in and does whatever needs doing.  Don't look for a 15 ppg average out of Galloway, but do look for some solid rebounding, good ballhandling and 4 or 5 assists per game.

We will have more on some of our incoming players later.