Ryan Harrow: A PERFECT fit for Rick Pitino and the Cards?

Posted: May 12, 2011 by kysco in Louisville Basketball
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This article was written by Kelly Patrick, a contributor with KentuckySports.co.  

The firing of Sidney Lowe and the way that NC State seemed to strike out while reaching out to head coaches all across the country, the result which will mean good news for a new program next season is prized transfer Ryan Harrow, who as a freshman last season with North Carolina State averaged 9.3 points and 3.3 assists per game.  Harrow is in the process of making his visits to determine which program he thinks is the best fit.   His trips began on Tuesday, when he went to Lexington to visit coach John Calipari and the Wildcats followed by going to Texas with head coach Rick Barnes on Thursday or Friday.  Harrow is scheduled to visit Louisville and coach Rick Pitino on Sunday and will then make stops at both Georgia (Head Coach is Mark Fox)and St. Johns (Head Coach is Steve Lavin) before making his decision, which he says will come shortly after he is finished with his visits.

Hearing quotes from Harrow (while speaking about the Louisville Cardinals as an option and his feelings toward Coach Pitino) such as “He feels like I could come in and make an immediate impact.  He says that he could develop me into the player that I want to be.  I felt like after speaking with him it would be a great opportunity.”   Tells me that Harrow was impressed by what Pitino told him about his chances of shining in a Cardinal uniform beginning in 2012.

But even more telling (to me) is hearing him say “I’m looking for a place where I can develop into the player I know I can be and work on the things that I’m lacking – a consistent jump shot and getting stronger.” Harrow said.  “I’m also looking for a place where the team is very family oriented and the main focus is doing what it will take to win.”  If there has ever been a coach who would embrace a player who had such a long term and mature perception of the type of hard work it takes to become a great college basketball player, that coach is Rick Pitino.  Pitino does and always has preached hard work and sacrifice, and for those players (and specifically teams of players) who have bought into what Pitino preaches, the results have been very impressive.

Having a long history of successful transfer stories, from Mark Pope (Washington) and Derek Anderson (Ohio State) while Pitino was with Kentucky, to more recent players like Reggie Delk (Mississippi State) and Chris Smith (Manhattan College) who will be a senior on next year’s team and played 26 minutes per game while scoring 9.34 points per game.  Smith seemed to truly benefit from a year of practicing with the team and working within Pitino’s system to develop his game without seeing the court.

If Harrow is looking for a family atmosphere where he can work hard for a year while red-shirting and then play his sophomore year under a senior point guard (Peyton Siva) before playing his Junior and Senior seasons as the main man at the point position, than I feel Louisville is the best fit for Ryan Harrow.

I understand that St. Johns is the favorite because both of Harrow’s parents grew up in Queens and the family has a longtime relationship with retired St. John’s assistant coach Ron Rutledge, and that depending on what type of playing time commitment Calipari is willing to make, UK could easily jump out in the front, but landing Harrow (for Louisville) would all of a sudden make the entire recruiting landscape for the Cardinals 2012 class look very good, and potentially great.  And that would make me happy, despite the fact that it is still very early in the recruiting process for that 2012 class, it seems that bringing in at least a couple solid players would make the non-stop soap opera atmosphere of this last month (which included losing Purvis and Webster-Chan) seem very distant.  And I am more than ready to move on from all of that insignificant drama (I am banking on it proving to be insignificant over time).


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