If you have watched any of the “All Access: Kentucky”, you know that John Calipari is a screamer. And most of it is directed at his point guards, most specifically Ryan Harrow. But it figures that even after a 93-61 win in an exhibition win over Northwood, Calipari may be at least somewhat satisfied and cut his PG a break. Ummm. Not really:
“He could just be talking normal, and then something could happen that wasn’t even dealing with me and it’s just like, ‘Aaaaaahhh!,’” Harrow said after UK beat Northwood 93-61 in an exhibition game Thursday night. “‘Why didn’t you make this happen?!’
“And I know it’s just because I’m the point guard, and he’s trying to get the best out of me.”
Harrow, who filled up a stat line against Northwood (five-of-nine shooting, 15 points, five assists, four steals, two turnovers), noted how from his perspective as a transfer last season the UK coach was mostly Silent Cal.
“He barely yelled at me,” Harrow said. “All the yelling (this year) kind of threw me for a loop. …”I’m getting used to it now. … He says he’s just going to keep on bringing it every day. He’s not going to let up.”
Probably the most scrutinized player in the game for UK was Nerlens Noel and after a slow start, Noel really dominated in the second half. Noel admits he was not happy with his play in the first half and most people tend to overlook the fact that Noel was a late arrival to campus. Noel is just going to get better as he progresses:
“I didn’t like how I was playing and felt like I needed to pick it up (in the second half),” he said.
The freshman forward did just that. Noel scored just four points in the opening half, but was active and collected seven rebounds, including five on the defensive end. In the final half, Noel picked up the pace, scoring 13 points, while blocking four shots. Noel felt a sense of urgency following his two-basket effort during the first 20 minutes.
Noel admitted that he was nervous and added that atmosphere “was crazy” during the first of two exhibition games before Friday’s season opener against Maryland. However, he settled down in the second half and performed to his ability.
“After the first half, I snapped out of it,” he said. “I started to feel like the way I should feel. It started to feel natural. I was not really surprised that I was nervous. When you play here in front of all these fantastic fans you are going to be a little nervous. It is over now and I am ready to ball.
“It is game time, and I am a lot more focused. It is about the team, and about winning. The coaching staff has really helped us with our game and we are getting better every day.”
In case you somehow missed it, or just need another look before trudging off to work, here are the highlights of Kentucky’s win over Northwood … all in stunning HD.