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UK guard Ryan Harrow did more talking against Lipscomb but sometimes it had nothing to do with what Calipari wanted

UK Point Guard Ryan Harrow


Point guard Ryan Harrow had 12 points in 31 minutes, both career highs at Kentucky, in Saturday’s 88-50 win over Lipscomb. However, it was more than the numbers that impressed teammate Jarrod Polson.

“He looked a lot more comfortable out there. Just getting back on everything. He is doing really well. In practice he is doing really well every day and that translated to the court today. That’s the way we need him to play,” said Polson after the game.

Harrow was 6-for-13 from the field  (0-for-3 from 3-point range). He had two steals, but also only two assists and just one rebound. He did not commit a turnover in his most productive game. It was also his first start after he missed four games in November for personal reasons.

“I also thought Ryan has a ways to go. This again goes back, kind of head down versus — you’ve got to lead these guys and you’ve got to get them to talk, not me,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said. “But I thought he did better today. I told him he needs to get 10 or 12 points a game. That’s all we need from him, and he did it without forcing shots. That’s what we need.”

Here’s what Harrow had to say after the game.

Question: Why did Calipari not seem to think the team played as intense as he wanted while you thought the intensity was better?
Harrow: “We just have to play with more intensity and not have the coaches tell us what we should be doing. I don’t want to put it on coach Cal. We just have to come out there and be ready to play. We are not communicating like he wanted. He went to a NBA game and saw those guys talking and says we should be talking, too. That is something new for us and we are just going to have to do it.”

Question: Is this team listening to the coaches well enough?
Harrow: “You just have to listen to what he (Calipari) says and go out there and execute it and not have him have to tell us during games what we need to be doing. That’s his biggest thing. We do all that work in practice and then we basically don’t do it in a game. So he calls us fakes because we are just faking it in practice and then we go out there and do our own stuff in the games.”

Question: Did you make an effort to talk more against Lipscomb?
Harrow: “Yes, whenever coach Cal yelled it to me. I don’t talk that much, either, but he was telling me to talk, so I was just screaming anything. It had nothing to do with the play, but I was just screaming so he wouldn’t say anything to me.”

Question: What were you saying?
Harrow: “I might have been saying, ‘Screen, screen, screen,’ and the dude wasn’t even up there to screen yet. It was just something I did. Let me just say it.”

Question: What about the talking during the game between teams that led to four technical fouls?
Harrow: “We had just started the game and the dude bumped me and I was like, ‘Okay, he just bumping. That is his style of basketball.’ Then he bumped me again and he said something. I was like, ‘I got into it with somebody last game, I can’t do that.’ Then he did it to me again and I was like, ‘Alright, I can’t do this. I have to say something.’ Then the ref said something to us and I said I was just going to chill. Then he came up to me again and that’s when he got the technical foul. Coach was just like, ‘Clap your hands, hit the floor and do it like that but don’t say anything to him.’”

Question: What happened with the same player and Nerlens Noel the second half that led to double technical fouls?
Harrow: “He shot the layup and after he came down he pushed Nerlens in the back and you just can’t push anybody. We are not going to just let you push us around. So Nerlens said something back to him and the dude said something back to him and the refs had already told us we didn’t need to be talking to each other. So that’s how those two technicals happened.
“I know a lot of these refs, so they talk to me before the game. When I got into it, he (official Ted Valentine) took me to the side and told me to relax and just play. I am cool with all the refs right now.”

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