Dissecting the shot: Aaron Harrison's epic three

broberts@herald-leader.comMarch 29, 2014 

INDIANAPOLIS — The subject of the first question that Aaron Harrison heard when he got back to the Kentucky locker room early Saturday morning wasn't specific, but it could not have been more clear.

"Was it in all the way?" a reporter asked.

"What?" replied Harrison, a smile on his face.

"It" was obviously the three-pointer that will be shown for years to come.

When the ball left Harrison's hand, the Cats were down one point to archrival Louisville, less than a minute on the clock and a trip to the Elite Eight on the line. When the ball landed, the Cats had the lead, and they had it for good.

So, how about that shot that helped Kentucky defeat Louisville, 74-69, in Indianapolis on Friday night — was it in all the way?

"Shooting the ball — you're not really sure," Harrison said. "But I had a good feeling."

It all began with fellow freshman Julius Randle.

When Randle started his move toward the basket, everyone watching probably figured he would keep going in that direction. By that point in the game — more than 39 minutes in — Andrew Harrison was the only Wildcat with an assist.

With the game in the balance, Andrew Harrison was at the top of the key, and Aaron Harrison was in the corner.

Here's what Aaron saw:

"Julius drove middle and they collapsed down on him," he said. "And Andrew was up top, so he was the easiest pass — so they took him away. And Julius saw me out of the corner of his eye and just hit me. And I just got a shot in rhythm."

Here's what it looked like from Randle's point of view:

"I was looking to attack," he said. "The dude kind of cut me off so I spun back. I saw (Aaron's) man kind of cheating in. I went up to shoot, but I saw Aaron was wide open. I had all of the confidence in the world that he was going to make the shot, and he did."

Randle said there was no question — when he saw his wide-open teammate in the corner — what he would do next. A few weeks ago, he might have forced a shot. On Friday night, he made the pass instead.

Yet another sign that this young Kentucky team has turned a corner.

"I think it's just us settling into our roles," Aaron Harrison said. "And (us) all knowing that we have to come together to win. And that we have to just to be together. And it's not really about what happens individually. ... We became a better team."

Ben Roberts: (859) 231-3216. Twitter: @NextCats. Blog: ukrecruiting.bloginky.com.

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