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By David Schuh | @DSchuhKernel
John Calipari’s past five point guards were one-and-dones. They each spent one year under him before being drafted in the first round of the NBA Draft.
Ryan Harrow will also be a one-and-done, but under much different circumstances.
The sophomore guard’s decision to transfer to Georgia State can’t be shocking to UK fans.
His play was anything but consistent this season, and the arrival of 6-foot-5 point guard Andrew Harrison in the fall would have greatly diminished his playing time.
Harrow cited the ailing health of his father, and there’s no reason to believe that isn’t a genuine concern.
He returned home in November to attend to a family issue, so we’ve seen that side of him. Being home in Atlanta will give him the opportunity to play a lot of minutes and take care of his family in the process.
There are other factors at play, though, that make this move the best for all involved.
First, his draft stock can’t improve if he stays. If he wants to support his family by playing basketball, he has to actually play basketball. Playing 10 minutes per game next season isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement to NBA general managers.
Also, Calipari has to worry about scholarships. If freshmen Alex Poythress, Archie Goodwin and Willie Cauley-Stein return next season, this year’s thin bench will reverse into Calipari’s best asset.
With seven or eight recruits on the way, there is a roster logjam.
An 11-man rotation is entirely possible, and all could be potential NBA Draft picks. That isn’t exactly the easiest way to showcase the skills of your backup point guard.
The fan reception to Harrow this season was mixed. Fans saw flashes of an aggressive player but just as many examples of a timid, inconsistent player. Some fans will miss his quiet, open personality. Others will hold the door on his way out.
Regardless of your position, the reality is Harrow will no longer be in the mix next season, for better or worse. He can move on and continue his college career, with his family close by. And UK will move on, too, still in a better position than most.
Ultimately, Calipari’s streak of true one-and-done point guards will probably continue next season, with Harrow in the rear-view mirror.