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Video: Phillips says physical practice 'exactly what we wanted'

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Five days before game day is about when coaches start easing off the gas in practice, allowing players to rest and stay healthy for Saturday - or in the case of Kentucky this week, Sunday. Joker Phillips did no such thing on Tuesday.

Instead, UK opened practice with three-on-three drills, allowing players to go head-to-head with their teammates watching. The result was just what Phillips was looking for.

"We had a physical practice, an intense practice, exactly what we wanted," Phillips said. "We tried to set the tempo with a three-on-three drill. You kind of sometimes get worried about doing three-on-three the week of a game, but we need it."

As has been the case for most of the preseason, the Wildcats once again avoided injury.

Quarterback Max Smith wasn't involved in the drills, but he was still a popular topic in Phillips' question-and-answer session with the media. Specifically, Phillips was asked how Smith stacks up to predecessors like Andre' Woodson and Mike Hartline in terms of being able to effectively check out of plays.

"He's not the level of those guys when they finished, but he's getting there quickly," Phillips said. "He's only been in the program two years, so his knowledge of the offense is way ahead of those guys after year two. We need him to continue to grow."

Offensive coordinator Randy Sanders discussed a similar topic, comparing Smith's grasp of the offense in his freshman and sophomore seasons.

"He's come a million miles since last year, even at the end of the season last year," Sanders said. "Now when you call a play, you look in his eyes and you can tell he knows it. Last year, a lot of times, he knew it, but you could look in his eyes and you could see him processing it."

Listen to more of what Phillips and Sanders had to say in the videos below.



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