Ryan Harrow will be taking the floor for Kentucky on Thursday night, but that doesn’t mean that Harrow will have his point guard spot back.
That’s Archie Goodwin’s job now.
“[Goodwin]’s earned the position. He’s our point guard,” Cal told media this week. “Now it doesn’t mean he’s our only point guard, now we have three point guards, which is even better, really, than having one point guard. And you can put two on the court at one time which is even better. Against, zone, against pressing, so it’s good for us. But he’s learning the position and doing well and getting better game to game, so hes earned a spot.”
And frankly, I don’t think that’s a bad thing.
Goodwin averaged 25.0 points and 6.5 assists in Kentucky’s wins over LIU-Brooklyn and Morehead State last week, and he’s already proven to be one of the most aggressive slashers in the country. At his size and with his athleticism and quickness, it’s nearly impossible to keep him from getting to the rim and to the foul line. Goodwin’s role wouldn’t be all that much different from the one that Tyreke Evans played in his one season with Memphis, when he took over the point guard spot and led the Tigers to the Sweet 16.
Goodwin’s still learning how to play the position, but with this Kentucky team, Calipari doesn’t need a facilitator at the point. He needs a playmaker, someone that can get into the paint and score, or penetrate and kick the ball out to Julius Mays and Kyle Wiltjer, or throw a lob up to Willie Cauley-Stein or Nerlens Noel. There isn’t a lot of offensive potency with this team, which is why a ball-dominating, aggressive point guard may be the best fit.
What the means for Harrow, however, is that he may have lost out on his one chance to play for the Wildcats.
He certainly won’t be seeing many minutes next season with the Harrison twins arriving on campus, and Calipari’s already been up to see the best point guard in the Class of 2014, Tyus Jones, three times. Senior year isn’t looking all that bright for Harrow.
I feel bad for the kid. I think we’ve all accepted the fact that calling whatever kept Harrow out of games early in the season wasn’t the flu, but whatever the situation was that he was dealing with, it has cost him.
It will be interesting to see how it plays out over the next couple of weeks — Cal’s already said he may play Harrow tonight against Notre Dame — but the way Kentucky looks right now, that may not be his best option.
Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.