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Rajon Rondo

Aaron Harrison photo by Clay Jackson. All rights reserved.

Aaron Harrison photo by Clay Jackson. All rights reserved.

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky freshman guard Aaron Harrison says he has patterned his game after a variety of NBA stars — Steph Curry, Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wade, Monta Ellis.

“I try to take something from all of their games,” Harrison said.

It’s also no surprise that he says his all-time favorite Kentucky player would be point guard Rajon Rondo, now a star with the Boston Celtics. Rondo was also an intense competitor who preferred to let his versatile play do his talking.

“I just like his toughness and his game. He averages a triple-double. I have never met him, but I would like to one day,” Harrison said.

Harrison and his brother had academic work to complete and could not attend UK’s summer school with freshmen Marcus Lee, Julius Randle and Dakari Johnson. Instead, he says he worked on “just staying in shape, getting stronger and getting to the basket” during summer workouts.

“People are saying I am just a jump shooter. It’s not true, but it helps as motivation,” he said.

Calipari noted that Harrison was better with his left hand than his brother, something Aaron says is not true.

“My dad worked on my left hand a lot when we were younger because he knew it would be important,” he said. “But I think Calipari is just egging it on with Andrew about me being better. Just motivating him.”

So how are the twins most different on the court?

“I take more jump shots, and he will get to the basket and throw more passes. Stuff like that,” Harrison said. “Our shooting styles are different. We are different players.”

The two often played one-on-one games growing up in Richmond, Texas.

“That is probably why we are so tough now, because of that. We would go back and forth, definitely. No one ever lost a game two times in a row. We were probably 10 or 11 at the house doing that. It started a lot of arguments,” he smiled and said.

By LARRY VAUGHT

With Kentucky product Rajon Rondo doing his best to keep Boston alive in the NBA playoffs, there is a great read by Daniel Solzman at wildcatbluenation.com.

It’s an in-depth story with comments from noted Boston columnist Bob Ryan to Cats Pause founder Oscar Combs to UK play by play announcer Tom Leach and many more. It also has some insights from former UK coach Tubby Smith, who recruited Rondo and never quite unleashed him like the Celtics have.

With Solzman’s permission, here is what Smith had to say:

“Like any other coach that’s had the good fortune to be around young men like Rajon, you’re fortunate to coach him,” former Kentucky coach Tubby Smith said in a phone interview.  “You’re just so proud of what he’s able to accomplish, reach his dreams, his goals, take care of his family, and those are things you talk about when you recruit young men.  You tell them—Hey, look, if you do certain things, do the right things, then guess what, stay true to your commitment.  Rajon’s always had a passion for the game.  He did everything we asked him to do at Kentucky.  I know that even when he decided to leave early, he finished up the right way with his mom right by his side, academically left here in good standing, and those things are, that’s critical, because I appreciate that about Rajon.”

“Rajon is good of an athlete, pound for pound, side for side, he’s as good of an athlete as I’ve ever been around,” Smith said, echoing the comments made by other coaches about the Celtics point guard.

“I’ve had the good fortune to work with guys with the Olympics, whether it’s Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Jason Kidd,” Smith added.  “I don’t think I’ve coached someone, a better athlete, in my coaching career than Rajon Rondo so you knew he was gonna be great.”

Read the complete story at http://wildcatbluenation.com/2012/05/21/rajon-rondo-theres-nobody-like-him/

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