Courtesy of www.kystatcats.com
Offensive Roles: Floor General, Transition Starter
Defensive Roles: Pass Interceptor, Perimeter D
Ryan Harrow has a tall task ahead of him in playing point guard for head coach John Calipari. He is the next player in Calipari's annual tradition of hauling in the country's best point guard and sending him off to the NBA.
However, Harrow has had a different situation from those of Marquis Teague, Brandon Knight, John Wall and Derrick Rose. He is not a freshman phenom. He was not the country's top-rated point guard. Rather, he is a transfer from North Carolina State, where he struggled to emerge from a loaded backcourt situation.
Even though he is not as flashy or buzzworthy as the players listed above, he is more than capable of rising to the challenge and excelling in Lexington. Harrow transferred before the 2011-12 basketball season, so he has developed in Calipari's system for over a full year. Having had the chance to practice against and learn from Marquis Teague, Harrow has had more experience and preparation than any of the point guards before him.
What Ryan Harrow brings to the court is a mixture of elite quickness and ball handling, ball hawking perimeter defense and an energizer on fast-break opportunities. Harrow will be the dominant ball-handler when running up the court, and he will be responsible for feeding the trailing players or finishing at the rim.
He is also the most talented true point guard on the roster, with the other new recruits not known for their ball handling or passing skills. Therefore, it will be up to him to distribute the ball, enable proper floor spacing and attack the rim for kickout opportunities.
As for the defensive end of the court, Harrow will utilize his quickness to apply pressure on the opponent's point guard. This is key, as his ability to disrupt the opposing offensive game plan will take pressure off of the other defenders.
He should also disrupt plenty of passing lanes and pick off lots of passes. Harrow can really cause havoc by stealing the ball and exploding up the court for extra fast-break opportunities. If he can apply this kind of pressure on a consistent basis, then he could be the difference between Kentucky having a good defense and an elite defense.