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UK coach John Calipari not sure when Ryan Harrow will be done dealing with issue and back ready to play


Even though he “worked out” in the the practice facility two days this week, sophomore point guard Ryan Harrow did not play for Kentucky in Wednesday’s win over Morehead and is not expected to be in uniform for Friday’s game against Long Island, either.

“He called yesterday and said, ‘Coach I’ve got an issue I’ve got to deal with, and my mom is here, and I’ve got to deal with it,’” said Kentucky coach John Calipari after Wednesday’s win. “If I knew more, I would keep it from you, but I don’t know more.”

Calipari did say it “should be this weekend” when asked when Harrow might return.

“It may be Friday but I don’t know.  We all love the kid, we want him to do well, we’re trying to walk him through this. Mom is a little concerned. He’s a great kid. We need him, but it’s bigger than basketball for me. You want the kid to be right, and you want to make sure in his mind he’s right,” Calipari said.

Harrow transferred to UK from North Carolina State last year and practiced with the Cats but could not play during the NCAA championship season. He was expected to take over as UK’s starting point guard, but had flu-like symptoms before the Maryland game. He played just 10 minutes in that season-opening win and has missed Kentucky’s last three games.

Calipari often has said UK is not for every player — and tells players that when he is recruiting them. There has been speculation that Harrow had quit the team or was having trouble dealing with Calipari’s pressure.

“I don’t think so. No, I don’t think it’s that,” Calipari said when asked if UK might not be right for Harrow. “Might be some of it, but I don’t believe that. He was getting better. That’s the sad thing about it.  He had … I was all over him.”

Calipari said he saw freshman Alex Poythress’ father after Wednesday’s game and told him how much he was on his son to improve.

“I’m on him half the game, and he’s playing better and better, but he’s only 50 percent of the way there now. His dad said, ‘That’s why he came here.  He wanted to be challenged, and he wanted to be coached, and he wanted to be pushed, and that’s what my son needed.’ They know that coming here. This is an open book; this is not we embellish and — we don’t do it.

“So I think he’s fine. My hope is he comes back this weekend, and he’s got to start on the road getting with the team and practicing and seeing where we are. His weight is still down, though.’

Calipari said Tuesday that Harrow has lost seven pounds during his illness. Still, Poythress said Wednesday he expects Harrow back soon.

“I feel confident we will get him back. We just want him to geat healthy,” Poythress said. “It is hard seeing him go through this, but we are just waiting for him to be healthy. He will help us a lot eventually. Ryan is such a great player. He will be a huge boost when we get him back.”

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  1. Clay

    ” I’ve got an issue I’ve got to deal with”
    “my mom is here, and I’ve got to deal with it”
    “we’re trying to walk him through this”
    “you want to make sure in his mind he’s right”
    “It is hard seeing him go through this”

    There’s way more going on here than just having a cold, or the flu, or even Mono… If “it” was a simple physical malady we would have already heard what it was, if anything just to keep the BBN settled. The reserved nature of the comments, and the outright silence points towards a much deeper concern. I hope the fella gets it together. They’re right to put basketball in the backseat for now, but he also needs to step up quick if he’s going to play. He’s losing a lot of ground here in the beginning of the team’s gestation that will be very difficult to overcome.

    1. larryvaught

      is becoming a little more baffling daily with Ryan

    2. UKFAN197TONE

      If it’s medical reasons, we all know why that information can’t be released. Other than that, we know UK can keep a “secret” with the best of ‘em. HA!

  2. LindaS

    This reminds me of a couple other players from UK, one who left and one who got it together during another coaching era. I hope he is fine, I hope he comes back. However, he was here last year, he knew what was expected of him, he knew what his position would be here and why do things change this year? Perhaps he was sick, why else would he lose 7 lbs. Maybe it is a problem back home. Maybe it is something deeper then anyone can imagine. We don’t know, Cal says he doesn’t know and would not tell if he did know. We can only hope for the best for this young man, this is his life he is preparing for. In the grand scheme of things I hope Ryan does what is best for him, gets his problem straightened out and is healthy and lives a long and productive life no matter what he decides. UK basketball will go on and we will still remember Ryan as a Wildcat. Go Cats! Livin’ Blue & Lovin’ It.


    Hey Ryan, load up on that turkey and get that weight back…we’re all pulling for you to get back here. We miss you and want you back as soon as it is reasonably possible. Hang in there and give your Mom a kiss from all of us at the BBN.

  4. Karen Sprinkle

    I hope whatever this young man is going through is swiftly resolved, and he’ll be able to return to what he loves doing.

  5. King Ghidora

    I think prayer is the best response to this situation for the fans of the BBN.

  6. Kokamo Joe

    Surely with the medical service available for UK athletes whatever that is bothering Ryan can be determined. I am beginning to think that there is more than an illness. For all the “it’s about the kids” that comes out of Calipari, he can be demanding, AS HE SHOULD BE. Note the reports in today’s newspapers about Wiltjer being more “nasty” or sitting on the bench. Of course, the squad is short and Witljer must play. Maybe Ryan just is not down with criticism. If that is the case, I would wonder why he did not recognize that Calipari can get in player’s faces since he was hear all last year. One has to wonder that if Ryan comes back if Calipari will actually play him.

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