After a very sloppy start to the game, Kentucky made a sub that I think will change the team for the rest of the year. Jarrod Polson is usually the first man off the bench to play point guard, but today it was Ryan Harrow. He was expected to be the point guard coming into this year, but had a sickness and family problems so he fell behind in the rotation. I think with his play today Ryan may have won the job back, and we could see him in the starting lineup next saturday as the cats take on Lipscomb at Rupp Arena.
I think for this team to be very good(which they can be) Ryan Harrow has to be the point guard. When he was in the game today the offense ran a lot smoother than it did with Archie Goodwin at the point. To Archie’s credit he’s not a point guard, and needs to play off the ball where he can attack. Nobody on this team can attack and score like Archie can. When he runs the point he has to worry about running the offense instead of running in the lane and dunking on somebody.
Now, to the game that took place today; Portland came in off a very impressive game againist (21) UNLV. Portland had a 9 point lead in the later part of the second half, but made some critical mistakes that allowed UNLV to steal one from them. The spread was set at 24, and I thought that was a little to high because of the way they played UNLV on Tuesday.
I thought Alex Poythress played well, but could be a lot better. He doesn’t fully understand how dominate he can be right now. He could be the best player in all of college basketball in my opinion if he would just do it. He had 15 points, but it was very quiet. Archie Goodwin was out of control at the beginning of the 1st half, but settled down and at the end of the game he was a monster. He had two major dunks in transition that showed his ability. One of those dunks will be on sportscenter top 10 later on tonight. I love the hussle of Nerlens Noel, he brings it every night and plays 100% every possession. Noel was close to a triple double with 7 points, 9 rebounds, and 7 blocks. My prediction- He gets a triple double before the end of the season.
Now, lets get to the big story of the game and that is Ryan Harrow. Like I said earlier he checked in very early in this game becasue of Archie having problems handling the ball. He ran the offense like he was supposed to and in the second half I think he finally got his game back. He lead multiple fast break transitions that led to many easy layups and dunks. That helped Kentucky pull away and extend the lead all the way to 32 at one point. I think we could have a new starting lineup come saturday and I expect Harrow to be the point guard from here on out.
Nerlens Noel was fighting an injury today, and it was noticeable but the big guy played through the pain and had a great all around game once again. UK athletics announced on Twitter that it was a “Left leg contusion”. Camp Cal may have gotten to him this past week. All I can say is I am glad it’s them and not me, because Calipari looks like he could get extra AMPED if needed.
Overall I liked the effort that Kentucky played with; however there were many breakdowns on defense and some on offense, but I have faith in this team and in Calipari to get this fixed. The good thing about those is that they are all fixable with some practice and game action. Yes, it was a sloppy game, but I am excited to see what this week of practice brings and to see the improvement from week to week.
Like I said earlier Kentucky will host Lipscomb University a week from today. Big Blue Nation let’s get Rupp rocking!!!!! Kentucky improves to 6-3 on the season.