Ryan Harrow was sick when Kentucky played Maryland on Friday, which is a major reason he looked, well, awful and only managed 10 minutes.
He didn’t practice over the weekend, either, and as Kentucky head coach John Calipari promised us on Monday, missing Monday’s practice cost Harrow the trip down to Atlanta to take on No. 9 Duke.
What that means for Kentucky is that Jarrod Polson, the star of the Wildcat’s win over the Terps, will slide into the starting point guard role. Freshman Archie Griffin and senior Julius Mays will also see some minutes at the point guard spot, but that would force both of them to play out of position. And as good as Polson was on Friday, that doesn’t change the fact that he’s a former walk-on. Kentucky survived more than anything with Polson running the show. He’s a scrappy guard that will make some hustle plays, will hit open shots and won’t turn the ball over, but he’s that’s about it. Kentucky is going to need Nerlens Noel and Alex Poythress to be much better than they were on Friday if they want to get out of Atlanta unscathed.
If Polson can once again come through for the Wildcats, however, I think it’s safe to say that Polson will immediately become a Kentucky legend.
Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.
Nic Moore scored 18 of his 25 points in the second half and added 11 assists as No. 16 SMU knocked off Gonzaga in Moody Coliseum on Saturday night, 69-60.
The Zags got 20 points and 16 boards from Domantas Sabonis, but Kyle Wiltjer scored just four points and shot 2-for-17 from the floor.
It wasn’t pretty.
And it may have been the end of Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament hopes.
Entering Saturday, the Zags had an RPI in the mid-60s, enough to keep them in the bubble conversation but not enough to make them anything more than a team that will be projected to end up on the cut-line.
The issue is a complete lack of quality wins on their résumé. Gonzaga beat UConn in the Bahamas. That’s a borderline top 50 win. They beat Washington, another borderline top 50 win. Beyond that? They swept Pepperdine, beat Tennessee and own a win over Montana. None of those are top 100 wins, and that’s why the SMU game was such a big deal. The Mustangs are a top 25 team. This was a road game. This win was the kind of thing that the Zags could pin at the top of their profile.
But Wiltjer didn’t show up, the Zags had no answer for Moore and they’ll head back to Spokane needing, in all likelihood, to win the WCC’s automatic bid if they want to dance.
Cal picked up a big win over Oregon State in Haas Pavilion on Saturday night, and the exclamation point was this emphatic dunk from Jaylen Brown: