UK Men's Basketball

Calipari hounds Harrow to improve

UK's Tod Lanter scored during the Blue-White scrimmage on Oct. 24. Lanter's father, Bo, played for the Cats in the early '80s.
UK's Tod Lanter scored during the Blue-White scrimmage on Oct. 24. Lanter's father, Bo, played for the Cats in the early '80s. Herald-Leader

With all the yelling he hears from Kentucky Coach John Calipari, Ryan Harrow figures to become a much better point guard or wonder what the Italian word is for straightjacket. Or both.

"He could just be talking normal, and then something could happen that wasn't even dealing with me and it's just like, 'Aaaaaahhh!,'" Harrow said after UK beat Northwood 93-61 in an exhibition game Thursday night. "'Why didn't you make this happen?!'

"And I know it's just because I'm the point guard, and he's trying to get the best out of me."

Harrow, who filled up a stat line against Northwood (five-of-nine shooting, 15 points, five assists, four steals, two turnovers), noted how from his perspective as a transfer last season the UK coach was mostly Silent Cal.

"He barely yelled at me," Harrow said. "All the yelling (this year) kind of threw me for a loop. ..."I'm getting used to it now. ... He says he's just going to keep on bringing it every day. He's not going to let up."

In assessing the game, Calipari said that Harrow — and freshman Alex Poythress — must learn to play with more effort throughout each possession. Harrow played "in spurts" the way Kentucky needs, the coach said.

"Then he reverts. Then it's OK to get beat or get caught up in screens or stop playing. I told him afterward, 'I'm just not settling for that.'"

Calipari emphasized that his standard for plays has nothing to do with making/missing shots or committing turnovers.

"If you don't sprint back, you're coming out," the UK coach said. "If you're not rough and the guy throws you out of the way, sit down. You're not ready. If you don't dive for loose balls, if you don't help the helper (on defense), you're out."

Harrow, a sophomore who played as a freshman for North Carolina State in 2010-11, acknowledged how he can have lapses.

"I'll play good defense," he said. "Once the ball is passed to another guy, I kind of die down."

That's when Calipari turns up the heat and the volume.

"I get mentally prepared before every practice, just knowing that he's going to do that yelling," Harrow said. "I just have to be ready for it.

"Yeah, it's harder than what you actually expect. You have to take it. ... He'll get you to the next level."


Calipari noted that Northwood took 29 three-point shots. That's too many for a UK defense designed to induce opponents to venture closer to shot blockers like Nerlens Noel, Willie Cauley-Stein and Archie Goodwin.

The UK coach suggested that perhaps 15 opponents this coming season will try to win with perimeter shooting.

"So we have to be good driving them off that (three-point) line," Calipari said. "I have to look at all those 29 threes, and see how we guarded it. You've got to get them to drive the ball."

Wiltjer outrebounded

Tyrone Davis, a 5-foot-2 point guard for Northwood, grabbed two rebounds — or one more than Kyle Wiltjer, who is 20 inches taller.

"I was on him because he's got to come up with balls," Calipari said of Wiltjer. "You can't play the game thinking if I make shots, I'll play."

Playing that way means limited playing time when the shots aren't going in, the UK coach said.

Calipari estimated that there were five or six loose balls that Wiltjer could have had.

"You must get those balls," Calipari said. "There is not an option."

Brooklyn Sandy

Hurricane Sandy battered the New York City area, but UK's opener against Maryland is not affected, spokesman DeWayne Peevy said.

Sandy did not damage the Barclays Center, Peevy said. The Brooklyn Nets postponed their opener against the New York Knicks because of disruptions to public transit.

But UK expects to play Maryland on Nov. 9, Peevy said.

Lanter on team

As his father did 30 years ago, Tod Lanter will be a walk-on for Kentucky.

UK announced before the game that Lanter, who played for Dunbar High, will be a walk-on this season. His father, Bo, was a walk-on for former coach Joe B. Hall.

"We just needed one more guy with size," Calipari said of adding Lanter.

Jerry Tipton: (859) 231-3227. Email: Twitter: @JerryTipton. Blog:

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