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Small gesture by Polson could have big implications for Wildcats’ team chemistry

By LARRY VAUGHT

Sometimes little things can make a big difference.

That’s why the move Kentucky senior Jarrod Polson made to make incoming freshman guard Andrew Harrison feel welcome could show that John Calipari’s team will blend together well this year.

Polson, the former walk-on guard from West Jessamine who is now on scholarship, is already¬† a fan favorite because of the way he plays and last year he was a significant contributor for the Cats. He’s wore No. 5 in high school and three years at UK. But now he’s changing to No. 3 so that Harrison, considered the nation’s best freshman point guard, can wear No. 5, his high school number.

 

No, it’s not a huge deal and knowing Polson as I do, I know he wants to win a lot more than he wants to wear a certain number. Still, it sends the right message about this team early in the summer to have a senior give up his number to a freshman who will be playing ahead of him this season. That’s how talented teams develop team chemistry much like the Anthony Davis-Michael Kidd-Gilchrist team did two years ago.

 

 

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33 comments

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  1. Ira

    How much more does Polson have to do for this team geez. He has given them his all, now a freshman comes in and takes his number like he has earned it, sad really.

  2. Tony

    I don’t understand how it is really sad. These are the things that make a team jell. Polson understands that in order for others to see the need to sacrifice, he must set an example. We could go on and on saying that Jared is a senior and deserves the number, but this is what makes it so special. This is very much like MKG asking for Miller to start in his place in the SEC tournament. Little things like this build a TEAM. Seniors who are great leaders, lead by example. Polson is doing that! Way to go Jared!

  3. Larry T Clemons

    It’s the smart Chess Move…It will help create ” Checkmate ” in the future…This is a Gentleman’s call. If I’m singing every Saturday Night at my Club, that I gave blood sweat & tears to build……Trust me, Elvis walks in and wants to sing and use my Guitar…..Please take it and come back next Saturday and do it again !

  4. Anonymous

    Jarrod has been a grade A teammate every year he has been at Kentucky…great young man!

  5. Eric

    I agree with Ira. The problem with this generation of athletes is that they are pampered even earlier now in their careers than they were just 20 years ago. Let Harrison make the sacrifice or stay in Texas.

  6. ukscat

    I certainly do not want to “stir the pot”. However, the most productive move would have Jarrod offer and Harrison say ” thanks but no thanks “.
    It’s important to have a coach during the summer – – I think we know who it will be.
    Can you spell “any job you want” when you graduate ?

  7. Tony

    Be very careful with your generalizations of the generations. Do you know the Harrisons personally? Do you know that Jared was forced to give up his number? Do you think maybe Jared wanted to do this because that is just who he is? How can you say without a doubt this is pampering an athlete as much as a teammate offering to help another teammate out?

  8. Larry T Clemons

    Thanks for those comments Tony…

  9. ruppsrunt

    Sometimes–”A MAN has to know his LIMITATIONS”!!!

    Polson recognizes his “LIMITATIONS”–and Andrew Harrison IS the UK point guard destined for greatness–not Polson.

    WALKONS do NOT choose their numbers, until the REAL players have decided.

    Polson has been fortunate to garner a full ride at UK, and has done his best–but his BEST is not good enough for UK to again return the ncaa title trophy to Lexington.

    Good move by Polson–HE is a team player.

    rr

  10. Larry Pup

    I would like to know if Harrison requested the number. If he did I agree with Ira. What difference does it make really anyway. If he, Harrison, is destined to be a great UK PG, and he receives the most playing time, he will do it wearing No. 3 or No. 5 won’t he? I think it is much ado about nothing. If Harrison is a team player he should have told the senior to keep his number. He has not played one min. of roundball for UK yet, Polson has given much. JMO.

  11. Larry Pup

    Let me just add that if this was totally Polson’s doing, more power to him. All we can say is “atta boy!”

  12. Seymour

    Geez, some of you guys want egg for your beer? The kid did a generous thing that should make for improved relations. Just be thankful that he is not a smart-xxx and he is a great kid that desires the best for the team.

  13. LindaS

    Personally, seeing Polson’s intensity on the court when he does play, seeing his maturity and seeing how he loves the game and Kentucky, I think it was his idea. He is all about Kentucky, he is Kentucky. He is a Kentucky boy leaving his dream and I would love to know how he will tell his grandchildren about the players he played with and his time playing himself. He is our guy.

  14. Larry Pup

    Seymour if that is the way it went down I’m fine with it. My problem with team chemistry however, is a freshman, if Harrison did, demanding this and that at the expense of a senior who has given his all. Which way was it?

  15. Tony

    Wow! Some of you guys read way to much into things. Nowhere in the article did it even imply that Harrison demanded the number. Nowhere in the article did it say Jared was coerced into giving up the number. Nowhere in the article did it say Calipari told Jared to give it up. It only states that Jared made the move (his own decision) to give Harrison the number and switch himself to another number. What started out as a feel good story about senior leadership has become a moan and groan session about people reading things into an article that is NOT THERE! Praise Polsen for what he did and be thankful for a move designed to welcome a new member to the team and lead by example.

  16. Andy

    If Harrison asked and Polson obliged, then whats the prob?

  17. UKFAN197TONE

    We may never know if there is a conspiracy or not; I don’t think so. Me personally, I would rather wear #3 anyway and for one reason. REX CHAPMAN. My favorite player of all-time.

  18. JCC

    #3 is a great number and we all know why. I would love to wear it on a UK jersey, heck I would love to wear any number on a UK jersey. Do not be surprised Jared Polson for team captain.

  19. Ira

    What some of you are missing, is this, Polson has earned that #5 with his playing time at UK. Earned a scholarship, what has Andrew Harrison earned yet for this team? That is my point.

    It is sad a SR had to give up his playing # to a one an done. Polson should have been allowed to finish out his career at UK with the # 5.

    If Harrison knows he is going to be around for 2 years all he had to do was wait till Polson graduated, no big deal then is it.

  20. jerry

    why look for something negative in such a smart, positive gesture. Polson is a senior, a team player showing leadership. it’s all good. GO BIG BLUE

  21. Larry Pup

    I agree Ira. Polson earned the number 5. Jerry there is more to this I think, but maybe you guys are right. It just don’t square with some of us. What has a number got to do with team chemistry anyway. Harrison’s going to get the bulk of the playing time. Let him earn his number. I may be all wrong about this, but I as a big fan of Polson, I don’t want to see him messed over. If it was his idea entirely, I will admit that it was a very nice thing to do. How’s that?

  22. Tony

    Ira,
    In the same way Polsen has also EARNED the right to make his own decision. He has EARNED the right to be a leader and set an example. He has EARNED the right to choose #3 instead of #5. I would hope you would respect HIS decision to do that. He has EARNED IT!

  23. Larry T Clemons

    All I got left to say is Nice work Polson…And, now you have TWO KENTUCKY Basketball Jersey’s with Your Name on them #5 & #3….That’s a Win, Win in my book…..

  24. Ira

    Tony, never said it wasn’t, you guys are missing the point. As a SR who has put in the work as a walk-on and earned a scholarship at Kentucky, how hard is that to do BTW especially at UK, it is sad to me as a SR, that he feels he must give up a number he has worn for the last 3 years and should be graduating with, to give it to a Freshman, that has never played a game for Kentucky yet, no matter how highly touted he is, so there is better team chemistry.

    Polson to me is the epitome of a UK basketball player, hardworking, unselfish, takes whatever minutes he gets, makes the best of them.

    Don’t misunderstand me, not knocking Harrison, but I don’t feel as if Polson should have had to do this. Willingly, or unwilling.

  25. Michael

    Guys why are you acting like Harrison did something wrong be receiving Polsons number? It clearly says Polson gave it up on his OWN. Just like he has earned the right to wear the jersey, he has also earned the right to give it up to anyone he wants. People are looking for something thats not there. Ira Polson did NOT have to or FEEL that he had to give up the number. He made a great gesture by giving it to Harrison. My goodness people some of you are making something out of nothing.

  26. Obediah Jenkins

    Much ado about nothing. Polson is a good kid who loves Kentucky basketball. He is also a graduate who probably would be looking for a job if he weren`t at UK. As a former walk-on with a scholarship he is probably happy as he can be just to be on the 2013 team with the chance for a 2nd NCAA title for himself as we go after #9! Right move Jarod and I have no problem with the #1 recruiting class ALL wanting their numbers. The only way it ever would have been a problem is if Polson was John Wall, but he`s not, he`s Jarod Polson and Happy as a lark!!!

  27. Larry Pup

    Michael in all due respect, the best possible team building IMO would have been for Harrison to say “no Jarrod, you earned it, you keep it.”

  28. Karen Sprinkle

    Several years ago, Ramon Harris voluntarily gave up the number he’d had for several years at UK to make a freshman feel more comfortable on the floor. The way I’m reading the story, Jarrod made the same kind, generous offer and Harrison took him up on the offer. If JP doesn’t have a problem with it, I don’t know why any UK fan would make a stink about it. IMO, this gesture shows the kind of man JP is and one of the many reasons why I’m very glad he will be a senior on this coming season’s team.

    1. Larry T Clemons

      A True Blue Kentucky Gentleman…..It’s what we do for Our New Guest…

  29. Kokamo Joe

    I would rather see the freshman step up and tell the senior to keep his number. That would show a lot of respect and support for a kid who has been around for 3 years and who stepped in last year and proved that he is a player.

    The BBN appreciates Polson for the kind of kid that he is….a player who could have started on a less prominent team and a kid who has already received his college degree.

    I would love to see Polson play an important role next year, but I can’t see him getting much playing time. The Harrison twins will be the men next year and unless one gets hurtl, it is going to be tough to see Polson play much. The question that I have is this: Can a good kid, but a kid who will play little provide leadership to McDonald All Americans?

  30. UKFMLY

    WOW 30post about squat. He did it nuff said. And the BBN wonders(out loud most of the time) why we are so maligned(as some have written). LOL So much ado about nothing! !

    KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK. GO BLUE AND REMEMBER “NOTHING IN LIFE IS PROMISED”

  31. Larry T Clemons

    Agreed, this is between two Team Mates…drop it.

  32. passrush

    This kid is doing all the right things right now so that later, after he leaves Kentucky, the right people will take care of him. He will be set for life.

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