People used to forget — after an inconsistent first three seasons, including a brief absence from the team — that senior guard Joe Crawford came to Kentucky as a McDonald’s All-American. They’ll remember now. Crawford, along with point guard Ramel Bradley, helped carry the injury-ridden Wildcats to a 12-4 SEC record. Crawford ranks sixth in the conference with 17.1 points per game and fifth in free-throw shooting. He discussed his hometown of Detroit, Bradley and “Nip/Tuck” during a recent phone conversation.
Q. Ramel told me that he took you to his hometown of New York. What did you think?
A. “It was crazy actually seeing everything and experiencing what you see on TV all the time. To actually be on the subway and in the middle of New York was crazy.”
Q. Can you defend your hometown of Detroit?
A. “I think you can only truly love Detroit if you’re from there. The reason I love Detroit is family, relationships I’ve built playing basketball and things like that. The one great attraction is the auto show every year. That’s a real fun experience.”
Q. Will Ramel go with you to Detroit?
A. “Nah, he’s too scared.”
Q. Every SEC player says that Ramel talks the most trash ...
A. “That’s about right.”
Q. ... so what’s the funniest thing you’ve heard him say?
A. “Besides constantly talking about New York? Let’s see (starts laughing), he did write ‘Smooth’ (Bradley’s nickname) on his graduation diploma.”
Q. No he didn’t.
A. “Yes, he did (laughing). He really did.”
Q. Early in the season, when you guys were 7-9, you said that no one would want to play you. I made a joke about that. But you were right. How did you know?
A. “It was just confidence, I guess. It was too early in the season to give up. We had a lot of potential. I just think that we had a couple of mental lapses, and teams just broke out on us. I knew we would get that corrected.”
Q. Harshest criticism you’ve heard about yourself?
A. “There’s been a lot of things that have been tough on me. I guess the main one is that I’m a selfish player.”
Q. Favorite movie?
A. “’Shawshank Redemption.’”
Q. Favorite TV show?
A. “‘Nip/Tuck.’ That’s a great show right there.”
Q. Who would be at your dream dinner party?
A. “Ashley Judd and Michael Jordan.”