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By Nick Gray | Sports editor
As a walk-on, junior guard Tod Lanter’s personal goals are to use his experiences from his past two seasons to help push his underclassman teammates to a better level.
“We are challenging each other in positive ways,” Lanter said. “My role as a walk-on is to push everybody a little bit farther. Being older, hopefully I can bring a certain level of intensity from experience in college basketball that these (freshman) haven’t experienced yet.”
Lanter played nine minutes total in six games last season after coming to the program from Gulf Coast State Community College in Panama City, Fla., where he played as a freshman. A Lexington native, Lanter graduated from Paul Laurence Dunbar High School and has been a life-long UK fan.
Lanter’s ties to the university and the town continue with his family. His dad, Bo, walked on at UK from 1980 to 1982, scoring 43 points in his time with the Cats.
But his dad was a part of two top-15 teams that lost its first game of the NCAA Tournament (1981 and 1982).
Lanter is trying to rebound from a disappointing UK team.
“I don’t want to speak on last year because we are trying to move on from it, but I can say that as a player I am disappointed in the way things turned out,” Lanter said. “The veterans coming back are bringing that in as motivation, trying to inspire the new guys.”
Lanter feels as though he is comfortable with his teammates this year.
“Cal has already said that we are the closest team he has ever had,” Lanter said. “Knowing each other’s game well and knowing each other on and off the court allows us to push each other further and further this early in the process.”
Lanter said his role as a walk-on makes him “an extra body to push around” during workouts and practices. But he also tries to lead his teammates at a time when the public is not looking.
“I push them around. I get (younger guys) to run faster and keep up with me. Jarrod (Polson) is kind of the same way; he leads sprints all the time,” Lanter said. “I think my strength is that, even only being around here for a year, I have been around other programs and I have played college basketball and know how Coach (Calipari) likes things done.”