Harrow with special opportunity, part 2

In part one of a three-part interview, transfer guard Ryan Harrow visited with Larry Vaught, and discussed the heavy competition at point guard at Kentucky. Harrow continues his explanation of why this is an opportunity, rather than intense pressure.

"I think that said a lot about what he thought about me," Harrow explained about Calipari's scholarship offer to him. "Me and my mom (Fern Matthews) are always tell him thanks for the opportunity even now," Harrow said. "He could have got a top high school prospect. But he figured I would be the best point guard coming out for taking the reins next year. I appreciate that, and that just makes me want to work harder and do better."

Calipari senses that having a year to learn the system while practicing with and against Teague and others could be "really good" both for Harrow and Kentucky.

"Ryan has got to really use the year to take his game to another level physically, with his body. He's got to do that for him and us," the Kentucky coach said. "But the other side of it is he gets to go against a guy nose to nose every day. Let me throw a third caveat in there: We have to have another point guard.

"He should be in the best position of any point guard I coached in that he's got a year to be tutored without the pressure of having to play. He's got a year to visually see it. He's got a year to learn it. When he steps off that treadmill, he should be flying."

Part of that will be determined by his progress in the weight room, because he learned last year that he needs to add weight and strength. He weighed about 164 pounds in early September — up from around 145 when he got to North Carolina State — and hopes to be at 185 when the 2012-13 season begins.

"With this offseason, I hope to put on more weight. If I don't, I?will still have that whole next season to do it. I will just focus on putting on weight, working on stuff I?need to work on before I?get back on the court, and then learning the system so when I?get back out there next year I?will be ready instead of the coaches having to teach me everything," Harrow said.

"For me, I?feel like basketball is still basketball. Last year I saw I was still able to get to the basket, get by my man and get open shots. It's just the strength is different in college. You have to be stronger to finish around the rim. The 3-point line is a little farther back, so you have to be able to hit shots. That just comes with strength, working hard and building that confidence up. That's what I plan to do this year when I?am not able to play in games."

This concludes part two. Read how Ryan Harrow sees himself fitting in with John Calipari's offense, and more, in part three of the exclusive interview.

AllWildcats Top Stories