UK Basketball: Point guard Harrow knows Calipari is not going to let up on him
Kentucky guard Ryan Harrow said individual workouts with coach John Calipari have helped him develop into a better player, even though he sometimes reverts back to his ¿cool" playing style. (Victoria Graff / January 4, 2013)
“I have been working with coach Cal and he says he is not going to let up on me, so we have just been working extra hard to make me even better than I am now,” said Harrow after Wednesday’s 90-38 victory over Eastern Michigan.
Harrow had a season-high eight assists and 15 points, including a career-high four 3-pointers, to help offset his career-high four turnovers. In the last four games, the sophomore is averaging 16.7 points and 4.2 assists per game and has gone 27-for-53 from the field. He has 29 assists and seven turnovers in the last seven games.
“I thought Ryan was good again today. Had a few turnovers he didn't need to have,” Calipari said. “He had two of them. Really, he had two turnovers. Two of them were the late half cool throw to Archie (Goodwin) that was, why did you do that? And then go between the legs. That's the old kid that used to play but wasn't very good. The new one is not turning it over. He's strong with the ball. He's aggressive. He's making plays.”
Calipari expected this type of play out of Harrow when the season started. Instead, he was sick when UK¿opened the season against Maryland and didn’t score in only 10 minutes of play. He missed the next four games for “personal reasons” and had just 14 points and in his first four games back before his impressive play the last four games.
“But the question is, this is where I thought he'd be at the beginning of this year. Now where do we go from here? He's got to continue to grow,” the Kentucky coach said. “He's got to continue to get better. No lapses. When we're in our league, we're going to be playing games. We can't afford lapses, especially by our point guard.”
Harrow talked about a variety of things from his play to Alex Poythress to the start of SEC play to UK’s big lineup after Wednesday’s game:
Question: What did your week of individual workouts with Calipari do for your game?
Harrow: “Just working hard and it shows. He’s doing the same with Alex (Poythress) now. He played real good today. Getting on the boards, dunking the ball and everything. That just comes from working hard.”
Question: What do you think made the difference in Poythress’ play against Eastern Michigan where he was more active and intense?
Harrow: “Just he had a real good practice yesterday, going hard and nobody had to tell him to go hard. We just told him to continue with that practice from yesterday and keep on playing hard no matter who we are playing. He just was going real hard and running the floor. When he got the ball, he was able to get into the paint and do all that type of stuff.”
Question: What was it like to see Poythress showing a bit more emotion as well?
Harrow: “It was good to see him smile because he is always so down on himself even when he is doing good things. But we are all just out there having fun basically.”
Question: Why do you think Poythress stays down on himself so much considering his talent?
Harrow: “That’s just his persona. He is just a laid-back type of guy and doesn’t get excited about too much. I don’t know if I¿meant down on himself. He is just more even keeled all the time.”
Question: What does it do for you to hit four 3-pointers in a game for the first time at UK?
Harrow: “I was just playing basketball. Coach told me if I am open, shoot it. We do like a five-minute shooting drill where we shoot 3-pointers and if you make over 50 in the five minutes, then you have the green light (to shoot in games). I have been making over 50 in the drills.¿He told me if I get open just shoot it.”
Question: But did you worry at all about your 3-point shot since you had only made three in the previous eight games?
Harrow: “Just being confident and putting in the extra work. Coach works with Alex and then he works with me and Archie afterwards and those are the types of things we work on. Shooting 3’s, coming off screens and shooting, just doing things that do in the game.”