UK Basketball: Ryan Harrow expected to play tonight at Notre Dame
Kentucky coach John Calipari said Wednesday that Archie Goodwin (10) will be UK¿s starting point guard tonight at Notre Dame, but Ryan Harrow will play. Harrow has missed the last five games due to illness and personal issues. (Victoria Graff / November 29, 2012)
“He’s done good in practice, but to say that he’s ready for that (against Notre Dame), I don’t know yet. We’ll see. I may throw him in that Notre Dame game just to see where he is. We’re still learning. It’s November. But we’ll see,” Calipari said.
“I’ve been doing pretty well in practice, so I think I am still in shape,” Harrow said. “I have been running on the treadmill and that has been keeping me in shape so I’m good on my conditioning.
“I have been doing well in the two practices that we have had since I have been back. If coach feels like he needs to play me, then he will play me. I’ll be ready, but I don’t know when that is going to happen. All I know is that I will be on the side cheerleading like I was last year. I’ll be dressed up and ready to go when needed.”
Calipari has consistently praised Goodwin’s play — and so did Notre Dame coach Mike Brey Tuesday — and says he’s earned the No. 1 spot at pont guard.
“Archie is our point guard, so I hope he’s comfortable in that position. But it gives us a chance now to play with two point guards on the court, which my best teams have had two point guards on the court at one time. So we have that opportunity now,” Calipari said.
“Now it doesn’t mean he’s our only point guard. Now we have three point guards (including Jarrod Polson), which is even better, really, than having one point guard. And you can put two on the court at one time, which is even better — against zone, against pressing. So it’s good for us. But he’s learning the position and doing well and getting better game to game, so he’s earned the spot.”
Harrow said he thought Calipari had been “more positive” toward him since his return to practice Sunday. He lost about 10 pounds during his three-week absence and went home last week due to a family issue.
Harrow said his family has been encouraging.
“They just wanted me to get back on the floor and keep positive thoughts. That’s all I have been trying to do really and talk with the guys,” Harrow said.
Calipari insisted he has not changed the way he coaches Harrow since his return.
“He had just been gone so long that you start thinking everything I said was negative. I’m coaching him exactly the same. You know, it’s amazing how when I ask them, ‘OK, who in this room am I being toughest on?’ Seven guys will raise their hand. They all think it’s them,” Calipari said. “So they only hear what’s directed at them, they don’t hear what’s directed at anybody else. I’m coaching him the same. I’m happy he’s back.”
Harrow also noted that he felt some pressure trying to be the next in line of star point guards Calipari has had — the last five years he’s had a freshman point guard become a NBA first-round draft pick.
“They’re all different. I’ve told them all the same thing. It’s all how you want to look at things, but it shouldn’t be. He’s not expected to be those guys,” Calipari said. “Nerlens (Noel) isn’t expected to be Anthony (Davis), nor was he expected to be Marcus Camby. I coach them all to play to their strengths and try to help them be the best version of themselves. So that’s never talked about within. Maybe sometimes, you think of that yourself, but that’s not what we teach or what we want.
“He’s a good basketball player. He’s quick and fast. He can get to the basket. He can score the ball. We need him to be the energy bunny out there, making plays defensively, scrapping out the game a little bit. He can do all the things we’re asking him to do.”
Harrow did have trouble watching UK¿games the last few weeks. He watched on TV as the Cats lost to Duke, but that was the only complete game he’s seen.
“It was kind of hard for me to watch the game and not be able to play. I just looked at the play by play on my phone. It was easier for me to do it like that,” he said.