In case you guys weren’t aware, tonight is Josh Harrellson’s senior night and his last game at the hallowed Rupp Arena. A story that began with the freethrow picture matured into a Kentucky visit with questionable fashion choices, and ended in a special part of all of our hearts. Josh “Jorts” Harrellson may be one of many fan favorites, but Josh is special for a number of reasons.
Why we love Jorts:
1.) To steal a line that I’m sure Jimmy Dykes coined, Josh Harrellson does blue collar work. More the mold of a Patrick Patterson than a Demarcus Cousins, Jorts does the little things that help this Kentucky team win. He plays good defense, he rebounds, and he makes the easy basket. While there is certainly nothing wrong with the dominant scoring bigs (and we love them just as much,) Jorts simply isn’t one of them. He fills the void on this Kentucky team, does what he is asked, and does it well.
2.) He has had to work to get here. It’s no secret that when Calipari took over after the maligned Gillispie regime, a lot of players were given their walking papers (or if it makes you feel better, gently nudged in other directions.) Josh wasn’t many people’s first guess at who would be sticking around, but he worked his butt off, proved to coach that he could be a contributor, and was given the chance to succeed. Just a year later and he is leading the SEC in rebounds and could be working for a pay day next year (if not as a garbage guy in the NBA, there’s always Europe.)
3.) Frankly, it might be a while before we see another long term project pan out. One of the downsides of having the number one recruiting class every year is that those players tend not to stick around for too long – either they leave early for the draft, or they feel recruited over and could decide to transfer (though that obviously hasn’t happened yet.) While there is still potential for a guy like Jon Hood or Stacey Poole (or Trevor Lacey if we’re being hypothetical,) to become a solid starter by their senior year, Jorts may be the last guy we really watch develop over time.
4.) If the KSR writers were on the Kentucky basketball team, we would be really bad. But if we were blessed with talent, height and a chin strap, we would be Josh Harrellson. He is the biggest personality on this years team, and has shown to have a good humor about himself (did you see the picture’s he sent in?) and the program (Carlton dance.) Jorts is the player we would be if we played Division 1 basketball, and what’s not to like about that? We hope to have him on a podcast sometime soon.
We love you Jorts. And mainly in a not creepy way (though be careful around BTI.)