By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky has signed the nation’s top-ranked point guard in Andrew Harrison, who is already being projected as a top five draft pick in 2014. Coach John Calipari also landed a more than capable backup point guard when Madison Central star Dominique Hawkins announced this week he would sign with the Wildcats next week.
But they are not the only point guard options UK could have next year?
Aaron Harrison, Andrew’s twin brother, is the nation’s top-ranked shooting guard. But ESPN recruiting director Paul Biancardi says in certain situations, Aaron Harrison could run the point for Calipari.
“In certain possessions, he could do it. It’s one thing to do it in high school where guys just bring the ball upo and think they are a point guard,” said Biancardi. “He will have to learn the nuances of thinking of other people first. He will be terrific in pick and rolls because teams have to reall play him. That’s the offense he will be best at.
“If you do not guard him, he will score and attack. He can make the kick-out pass to open shooters. He could play some point guard in a pinch and be more than adequate. He’s not his brother, but he can play point guard if needed.”
Former UK point guard Anthony Epps, the starter on UK’s 1996 national championship team, watched the Wildcats struggle last season with inconsistent point guard play.
“I just think a lot of the struggles last year came from play at point guard,” Epps said. “It’s a tough fan base at Kentucky. I think one of the biggest things is the level of expectation has been raised so high with the success Cal had his first three years. But it is hard when you go through the grind and don’t really have veteran players to lead the way.
“It was tough to watch at times this year. I was in their situation at one time, too. The key is you have to grow during the year. You have to get better and that’s the tough part for a coach figuring out why guys don’t get better. I think the coaching staff did the best they could with what they had. It’s up to guys to listen to coaches. That’s why they get paid. But to be a great team, UK has to get better point guard play than what it had this year.”