Most Recent Posts
- UK football coach Mark Stoops understands that hiring Vince Marrow was a home run for Kentucky
- Video: Larry hears cowbells, makes a chocolate cow and soaks up the culture in Switzerland
- Video: UK offensive coordinator Neal Brown talks about recruiting the home state of Kentucky
- What role did Drew Barker’s mother play in his athletic development?
- Calipari will be keynote speaker at Iba Awards June 3 in Tulsa
- D.J. Eliot understands coach Mark Stoops “very well” can bring new ideas to UK defense
- Swiss Cat Part 2: Larry continues his adventure in Switzerland
- Brumbaugh understands junior college talent, feels he can bring JUCO players to UK
By LARRY VAUGHT
The numbers looked impressive for Kentucky point guard Ryan Harrow — 12 points on 6-for-6 shooting, four assists and one turnover. However, Kentucky coach John Calipari was not overly pleased with his sophomore point guard after Tuesday’s 77-55 win over South Carolina. Calipari emphasized that he wanted to see more “touching” out Harrow to encourage teammates.
“I mean, physically, you touch them all the time. You’re always near them. You’re touching them. You’re talking to them. We’re trying to get them in that mode. It’s just not natural for him,” said Calipari. “He’s more of a, I want to be laid back when I play, and you all know you can’t play that way.
“We’re just trying to convince them that when he does play the right way, I believe he’s as good as any point guard in the country. The other guy is not really that good. The one that plays aggressive and is low to the ground, talking to his teammates, he’s as good as any point guard in the country. The other guy shouldn’t be on the court as much, so we’re just trying to convince him of what he’s got to be. He’s got to buy into that, surrender to it, and just go do it.
“Think about what I’m saying. I’m not saying make more shots. I’m not saying be better with the ball. I’m saying play with more intensity, play lower, play rougher, talk to your teammates more, be more into the game. He can do it. That’s all we’ve been driving him for.”
Here is what Harrow had to say about his play, his coach’s comments and more after Tuesday’s win.
Question: Does Calipari ever tell you that you can be as good as any point guard in the country?
Harrow: “He says that but I just have to keep working and try to pick my energy up as much as I can and do whatever I can to help the team on the defensive end and running the team on the offensive end.”
Question: Do you notice anything similar to last year’s team as far as energy and finishing off games?
Harrow: “I think this was one of the first times we actually played the whole game through keeping the lead and playing good defense and helping each other. Last year’s team, they did that a lot. We just have to keep on working and it starts in practice.”
Question: What did it mean to have Willie Cauley-Stein (13 points, six rebounds) back playing?
Harrow: “He helped us out a lot with his energy when we really needed it. He is going to run the floor and play defense hard. When he has his offensive game going, it makes it a lot easier for all of us.”
Question: Did you know Florida lost at Arkansas?
Harrow: “Coach told us they lost to Arkansas. That was big. He said we were one game away from being number one (in the SEC). We have to keep working and be ready to play.”
Question: Will you ever be tough enough for Calipari?
Harrow: “No. I think he is always going to want me to be tougher even when I try to be tough because he wants the best out of me. He just wants me to be the best point guard in the nation and he sees that in me. He is going to be hard on me at all times.”
Question: What does he want you to do to show him how tough you can be?
Harrow: “Just playing through bumps. Playing good defense. Not stopping on screens. Stuff like that.”
Question: Does he ever mean it more mentally than physically?
Harrow: “He talks about my mental, too. Just staying upbeat and telling guys to … and keep cheering them on and stuff like that.”
Question: Is that just part of being a point guard for Calipari and did you see that with Marquis Teague last year?
Harrow: “Yes. Just what he wants his point guard to do. He wants his point guard to run the team. He just wants to sit back and have his point guard do it, but he has to help us out.”
Question: Do you see a point this year where he could just sit back and let you run the team?
Harrow: “I hope so but I still have some work to do.”
Question: Why did you spend more time on the bench the second half? Any message to you?
Harrow: “Just energy and I had got three fouls, so they had to sit me down.”
Question: Have you ever had a coach tell you to ‘touch’ your teammates more?
Harrow: “No. That’s Steve Nash (of the Los Angeles Lakers). He watched him and just how he just goes up to players and touches them. One game he touched them over 100 times. I don’t know. Just like, ‘Good job.’”
Question: With your personality will that be hard for you to do?
Harrow: “No, it’s just you don’t think about going up and just by a little touch meaning something. If Steve Nash can do it, I can do it.”
Question: Do you know what Calipari meant last week when he said all the players had to love being around men more?
Harrow: “I have no clue. I didn’t even know he said that. I don’t know what that means.”
Question: Do you consider guard Jarrod Polson a tough guy?
Harrow: “Yes. He goes in there and plays hard and plays with energy and gets tough rebounds. That’s what Coach likes. He is always telling me to watch what Jarrod does and try to implement that into my game. Coach tells him to be tough against me in practice because that is what everybody in the conference will try to do to me and play me physical.”
Question: Did you notice that South Carolina coach Frank Martin just sat down the last 10 minutes because he said when his team quits playing, he quits coaching?
Harrow: “I watched the whole game. I have seen him go off on people and I noticed that he was real chill. I don’t know what was going on. He is just sitting down. I was like, ‘He has really calmed down from when I saw him before.’ I thought the guys were trying to play hard. We just had a really good night tonight.”
Question: Do you ever envision a scenario where Calipari would sit down for 10 minutes in any game?
Harrow: “No. Even if we don’t do anything wrong, if a bad call or something happens he is going to jump right out of that seat and let somebody hear it.”
Question: Has he told the team he is going to quit coaching intensity and effort?
Harrow: “Yeah. He tells us that all the time. But I think it is just in him to let people know when they don’t give enough energy.”
Question: What about facing Auburn for a second time Saturday?
Harrow: “We just have to do the same thing we did the first game. We are going to prepare Thursday and Friday for them and just come out and be ready to play because we know they are going to try and get revenge on us.”