As the Kentucky faithful are quickly approaching the start of basketball exhibition season, fans are eager to learn as much as possible about the new players on the 2012-13 basketball roster. With that in mind, this will be the fifth and final submission in a series of articles discussing the projected starting lineup for this season's team.
Ryan Harrow figures to be the team's starter at point guard and he has a lot riding on his shoulders. Harrow was on the roster for last year's national championship run, but he had to sit out the year due to his transfer from North Carolina State.
However, his one year on the roster gives him an experience advantage that no recent Calipari point guard has had. This will be the first time that his starting point guard already has experience with his dribble drive system coming into the season.
He played well in the team's Blue-White scrimmage. In fact, for a more detailed overview of Kentucky's Blue-White game live from Rupp Arena, read all about it on The Kentucky Blog.
Ryan is progressing towards Calipari's stated goal for Harrow, which is to be "the best layup shooter in the SEC." They key for him is whether or not he can excel as a three-point shooter, which the team desperately needs for him to do. If he can emerge as a perimeter threat as well as an effective slasher, then the Wildcats' offense thrive and Harrow will likely emerge as a star.
Harrow should greatly benefit from this and figures to get off to a fast start early in the season. He will need all the help he can get because he is the new leader on a very young and inexperienced team. Harrow is a smaller point guard than Calipari usually recruits, but he possesses elite ball handling skills and can score from all over the court. He is a dynamic athlete and is very quick from end-to-end.
With that being said, Ryan is not the typical all-world point guard that Kentucky fans are used to seeing. But he should flourish under John Calipari and become a great college point guard during his time in Lexington.
Looking ahead to next season, I expect Ryan Harrow to average 11 points, five assists, two steals and two rebounds during the 2012-13 basketball season. This sort of output from Ryan will dramatically increase Kentucky's odds of reaching the Final Four this year in Atlanta.