VAUGHT: Tubby may redshirt Harris

Tubby Smith won't speculate on when Ramone Harris will play for Kentucky or even how much he will help the Wildcats this season. However, the Kentucky coach has no doubts that the 6-7 Harris will eventually be a solid contributor for the Wildcats.

Harris, a former Alaska Player of the Year, became eligible to join the Wildcats Friday after sitting out the first semester because he did not meet NCAA eligibility requirements. He practiced with the team today and will be on the bench at Saturday's game at Louisville. Smith said he "probably" would not play.

"I don't expect him to be very effective for us for a while," Smith said. "If it does not work out ... we will see how he is doing and we might not waste the whole year. We will see how he responds."

Smith said he expects to make a "quick decision" about whether to redshirt Harris or go ahead and play him even though he has missed over two months of practice.

While Harris seems to have the muscle to compete now, Smith says looks can be deceiving. "The body does not mean a thing. He has got the body and heart, but there's more than that to basketball. He has to handle the intensity."

Kentucky teammate Joe Crawford says he's only seen Harris work out and has not played basketball with him except for briefly on his official visit. "He's talented and athletic. You can tell that. He can run, jump and handle the ball," Crawford said. "Does he get to play?"

Obviously, Crawford had not heard the news about Harris' eligibility and availability for Saturday's game.

"It's going to be hard on to pick everything up. This is the first time I've been around someone who has tried to do this," Crawford said. Senior Bobby Perry knows Harris faces a quick, difficult transition if he expects to play this year. He also says Harris does not have the same outgoing personality as junior guard Ramel Bradley.

"We've not been around him a lot yet, but he's kind of quiet. He's from Alaska, not Brooklyn (like Bradley). But he's really a good guy. You can tell that," Perry said.

And is he a Kentucky player?

"No doubt about that. He's athletic and talented. I think he will do great here," Perry said.


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