The good news is that John Calipari has a veteran like Jarrod Polson who can come off the bench and provide quality minutes for his team when his two younger guards are struggling. The bad news is that we are nearly 3/4 of the way though the season, and both Archie Goodwin and Ryan Harrow are still playing inconsistently. Goodwin only played 17 minutes tonight, 15 below his season average which hovers around 32 minutes per game. The team actually appeared to run a much more effective and efficient offense today with the combination of Jarrod Polson and Julius Mays in the game. Mays and Polson combined for 57 minutes tonight to go along with 4 assists. Goodwin and Harrow combined for 43 minutes to go with 2 assists. Goodwin also finished with only 3 points, 11 below his season average of 14.
Calipari mentioned the fact that it was probably good for Goodwin to see that his team could play without him as he spent time on the bench this afternoon. Calipari was asked about Harrow’s play and how compares mentally to some of the other point guards he’s had in the past. “He can play that way, but he chooses at times not to play that way. We all want him to be better. But he’s learning. I think he wants to do well. I’m not giving up on anybody on this team.”
The importance of having two veteran guards in Polson and Mays has turned out to be extremely valuable to this young team. The two have been able to continue to buy both Goodwin and Harrow time to keep developing into the contributors that Calipari needs them to be. I still think that this team’s future in March is directly dependent on Goodwin and Harrow becoming consistent and “buying in” as Calipari so often says. For a long time we thought perhaps it was the emergence of Alex Poythress that would make or break this team. And while his play and contributions are certainly important, this team will likely sink or swim based on Calipari’s two young guards.
With that said, Calipari certainly isn’t giving up on them yet. Neither will we.