Andrew Harrison couldn’t have missed all the talk that he and his brother haven’t lived up to expectations so far.
“Its frustrating when you hear people that say you are not as good as you think you are,” Kentucky’s freshman point guard said. “I feel that it is my responsibility to step up as the point guard of this team.”
Harrison enjoyed a breakout game Saturday, scoring a career-best 26 points in No. 13 Kentucky’s 74-66 win over Tennessee and proving that he can both lead the team from the point guard position and score, too. He went a perfect 10-for-10 from the line and added 3 assists with no turnovers.
“Andrew is playing more and more like that point guard that he needs to be for us and for himself,” Kentucky coach John Calipari told Clark Kellogg on air.
On a day when Julius Randle (18 points) didn’t make a field goal in the second half and grabbed just two rebounds, Kentucky needed the Harrisons to step up.
Aaron Harrison added 14 points, the 11th time in the last 12 games he has scored in double-figures.
“Andrew did an unbelievable — that’s who I expect,” Calipari said. “Maybe not 10 out of 10, I’ll give him a 9 out of 10 free throws. But what he did in pick-and-rolls; he got in the lane; he made the right play; he had no turnovers; he made big shots, the runner, the pull-up jumper; and he ran our team. He played like a point guard.
“So he got better today, he really did.”
After initially being projected as a lottery pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, some mock drafts — including DraftExpress.com — now have the Harrisons moved to the 2015 Draft.
“I know that I am not playing as well as I can and that is what I am working on,” Harrison said. “That just comes from hard work and being in the gym. I just want to play well for my team.”
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.