Kentucky-Lipscomb basketball notes: Improving Harrow rejoins starting lineup

jtipton@herald-leader.comDecember 15, 2012 

  • Kentucky vs. Western Kentucky

    When: 7 p.m. Saturday
    Where: LP Field in Nashville
    TV: ESPNews
    Radio: WBUL-FM 98.1; WLAP-AM 630; WWRW-FM 105.5

Starting for the first time since the opener against Maryland, sophomore Ryan Harrow came within two points of matching his season total of 14. He also had no turnovers in 31 minutes.

"I'm just trying to make the right decisions," said Harrow, who has had only three turnovers in 114 minutes this season. "I'm not trying to force anything."

Harrow took exception to getting credit for only two assists.

"I usually don't look at the stat sheet," he said. "I don't know who's keeping stats. But something had to have happened. I wanted to see my assists. The last game, I felt I got short-ended. Something's going wrong. I'm passing the ball for a reason."

Harrow got credit for a season-high six assists in UK's win over Portland last weekend.

Of course, assists are such a subjective statistic that the NCAA did not begin recognizing it and compiling it annually until the 1983-84 season.

"I had a good week of practice," Harrow said. "So I felt I'd have a good game."

UK's always subjective coach, John Calipari, complimented Harrow's performance. But, he added, "I also thought Ryan has a ways to go."

Calipari lamented Harrow putting his head down after missing a shot. "You've got to lead these guys and you've got to get them to talk," he said. "Not me.

"But I thought he did better today. I told him, he needs to get 10 or 12 points a game. That's all (the offense) we need from him. And he did it without forcing shots. That's what we need."

Technically speaking

Lipscomb guard Deonte Alexander was disqualified with 11:39 left after receiving his second technical foul. On the play, he was fouled by Archie Goodwin while driving to the basket.

Instead of going to the foul line, Alexander exchanged words with Nerlens Noel. That served as Part II for Alexander and Noel, who became entangled and fell to the floor late in the first half.

Alexander received his first technical foul with 17:16 left. According to Harrow, Alexander kept bumping him. The fourth attempt to be physical resulted in the technical.

"He's a very emotional player," Lipscomb Coach Scott Sanderson said of Alexander. "I told him many times I want you to be an emotional player, but I don't want you to cross the line."

Alexander — and all players — must continue to play despite what they might view as a bad call, said Sanderson, who added that he tries to condition his players to adverse calls by officiating in Lipscomb practices.

"The bottom line is you're going to get bad calls from time to time," said Sanderson, who noted that he was speaking in general and not referring to how the UK game was officiated.

After being ejected, Alexander was tearful and apologized to his teammates, Sanderson said. Alexander, a 6-foot-1 senior, averaged 11.6 points and had a team-high 17 steals going into the game.

"When you go over the line with your emotions, it not only affects you," Sanderson said. "It also affects our team."

Fan collapses

UK fan Joe Jackson collapsed near the end of Calipari's post-game news conference. Jackson, 78, quickly regained consciousness and left Rupp Arena under his own power.

Jackson is a member of what's known as the K Fund's Wildcat Reserve. One of the privileges of membership is to attend the post-game news conferences.

After getting back on his feet, Jackson said he was OK. He said the room felt warm and the heat got to him.

Five practices?

On Friday, Calipari endorsed the idea of five workouts in a day during the semester break. Why not participate in three team practices in a day, plus go to the gym two more times to work individually, the UK coach asked rhetorically.

When asked about five workouts in a day, Harrow raised his eyebrows and paused before answering.

"Basketball-basketball-basketball-basketball," he said. "That's all I know to say. Five practices in a day? We better be good."

Positive Polson

Harrow saluted the positive impact Jarrod Polson makes.

"Whenever I do something good, he always chest-bumps me," Harrow said. "We've got to have fun out there."

Lipscomb?

Lipscomb is a Nashville-based private school that's affiliated with the Churches of Christ. It was founded in 1891 and has an enrollment of 4,278.

Jerry Tipton: (859) 231-3227. Twitter: @JerryTipton. Blog: ukbasketball.bloginky.com

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