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Morehead State coach Sean Woods wonders aloud about ‘kids nowadays’ at Kentucky

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(AP)

If anyone could get away with questioning current Kentucky basketball players' commitment and respect for the history of their program, it might be first-year Morehead State coach Sean Woods.

He did just that Monday on a conference call in advance of Morehead State's trip to Lexington on Wednesday and it didn't go well. He might as well have called the current Wildcats prima donnas.

"They didn't seem like Kentucky basketball players to me," Woods said of his impressions of UK players when he and they took part in a telethon recently to help victims of Hurricane Sandy. "And I'll leave it at that. I'm a Kentucky basketball player through and through, and there's just a certain aura about you.

"These kids nowadays are just so different. When I was coming up, we were humble. Very humble. I think because of the success that Cal has created -- which is not a bad thing, it's a great thing -- it just lets you know what Kentucky basketball is right now. But I'm just one of those kids really, really am a blueblood Kentucky guy at heart. There's just a certain way and a certain look Kentucky basketball players should have, and not have such a sense of entitlement. I think today, it's still an honor to wear that uniform."

Later in the day, Woods backpedaled a bit and clarified his position via Twitter saying he never meant to insult anyone at his alma mater. He said he has respect for what UK coach John Calipari has done with the program.

Woods stood by Kentucky during some of its darkest days when he played basketball for the school in the late 1980s and early 1990s while the NCAA was punishing UK for multiple NCAA violations. Woods could have left to transfer just about anywhere, but he stayed and became a member of the school's hall of fame.

He was asked what he thought about UK freshman Willie Cauley-Stein admitting recently that he didn't know anything about the Wildcats' 1993 game against Duke in the Elite Eight in which Christian Laettner hit a game-winning shot to beat UK at the buzzer.

Woods played against Laettner in that game and had hit the go-ahead shot for Kentucky preceding the big shot by Laettner.

"That doesn't surprise me, because kids nowadays are different," Woods said. "When I was growing up, I never once saw Wilt Chamberlain play, but I could tell you every little thing about him. Earl 'The Pearl' Monroe, I didn't grow up watching him play -- he was way before my time -- but I could tell you a lot about him. Kids nowadays, they play too many video games. Just being honest with you. They don't get it. They play basketball, but they don't know what basketball really is. And they're very, very fortunate. We live in a microwave society now, and it's a shame that kids don't know the history."

Kyle Ringo covers Colorado and the Pac-12 Conference for the Daily Camera in Boulder. Follow Kyle on Twitter @KyleRingo

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