UK Basketball: Ryan Harrow knows John Calipari is not going to let up on him
Kentucky guard Ryan Harrow (12) said he is getting used to coach John Calipari being so hard on him, knowing he is just trying to get Harrow to be a better player. (Clay Jackson / November 3, 2012)
He had 15 points and was 5 for 9 from the field and 5 for 6 at the foul line Thursday in the Wildcats’ exhibition win over Northwood (Fla.) in his first game since transferring from North Carolina State. He had also five assists and four steals. Even two turnovers in 24 minutes didn’t seem like a high total.
Yet Kentucky coach John Calipari was far from satisfied with his sophomore point guard.
“Ryan, in spurts, played how he's got to play for us. In spurts, and then he reverts, and then it's OK to get beat or hung up on a screen or stop playing,” Calipari said. “We're way away from being where we need to be, but the guys couldn't stop today because I was screaming the whole time. I'm exhausted right now. I can't coach that way. But I was on Alex (Poythress) every bounce of the ball to play, and Ryan, just to make them play through every possession.”
Harrow said it was good that the team did better than Calipari expected, and he credited the team’s work ethic in practice for that. He also shared his thoughts on lineup changes, Calipari’s criticism, playing point guard at UK and this team’s future after the game:
Question: What is it like when Calipari is using so many different combinations of players during a game?
Harrow: “We've went through it in practice, so we've experienced it with the two bigs or with Kyle (Wiltjer), Willie (Cauley-Stein), and Nerlens (Noel) at the same time, so we were kind of prepared for it. He let us know that he was going to be shuffling us around before the game.”
Question: Does that make it harder to get into a rhythm?
Harrow: “No, because we play like that in practice. In four-minute increments you are with the same team and know what you are going to run with that team and what to expect out of that team, and then when the next group of guys get in there, you know what you are going to do with them, too.
Question: How long does it take to gel with a young team like this?
Harrow: “It's going to take some time because, you know, everybody was the best player on their high school team, and then you have me and Kyle coming back and I didn't play last year, so we are just trying to figure each other out. We all pretty much know what each person does best.”
Question: Can you tell when things are not clicking quite right?
Harrow: “Yeah, but it was our first game against somebody else, and that is what Coach expected. He says you are going to be wrong 70 percent of the time, so just scramble and play basketball. That is what he brought us here for.”
Question: Is there an upside to using so many different lineups?
Harrow: “Just knowing that we have a lot of guys that can play together, and we know what we are supposed to do with that group.”
Question: What was Calipari on you the most about?
Harrow: “Just not to stop playing on defense. That was the biggest thing with me with defense. He’s not really concerned at the offensive side. He is more concerned with being energetic and never stopping on defense.”
Question: Since Calipari said he was testing players to see how much heat they could take from him during a game, how much heat do you feel he brought your way?
Harrow: “He yells at me all the time. I have kind of gotten used to it. Him yelling is his regular talk for me now. It just happens.”