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Josh Harrellson: Great player or greatest player?


Since the start of the SEC tournament, Josh Harrellson has been on an absolute tear. In the past four games, he has averaged 11.5 points and 8.75 rebounds per contest all while shooting close to 70 percent from the field. The best thing about Josh’s play is that it has seemed to get better each game.

Jorts is playing with confidence and a level of passion that seems to have eluded this team for most of the season. Against Princeton, his offensive rebound and put back plus the foul when the Cats were down 44-39 was the catalyst for a 14-4 run that permanently shifted the momentum in UK’s favor. His best offensive performance may be yet to come, too.

West Virginia gave UK fits last season with its 1-3-1 zone. This team has the personnel to shoot the Mountaineers out of that zone, though. If the Bob Huggins defense of choice becomes man-to-man, Jorts will have a definite advantage from a size standpoint. Deniz Kilicli is the only West Virginia player, logging significant minutes, that is close to Josh’s size, but he isn’t known for his defensive prowess and is prone to dumb fouls while defending in the post.

Josh didn’t log a single minute against West Virginia in the tournament loss last season, but he could end up being a key difference maker in the game this year. The way Josh has been playing, if the Cal decides to establish him as an offensive option, early and often, he has the potential to do a lot of damage.

We love Jorts here at KSR and his emergence has been one of the least expected, yet most exciting developments of the season. What do you think? Can Josh Harrellson be the game changer the Cats need in the revenge match against West Virginia on Saturday?

Article written by Matthew Hays

24 Comments for Josh Harrellson: Great player or greatest player?

  1. catinhat
    4:07 pm March 18, 2011 Permalink


  2. catinhat
    4:08 pm March 18, 2011 Permalink

    so what’s the game plan for success against the 1-3-1?

  3. knightynight
    4:09 pm March 18, 2011 Permalink

    2) easy…hit open shots and attack gaps. the baseline of a 1-3-1 is very soft.

  4. PatPattersonISWalkingThruThatDoor
    4:10 pm March 18, 2011 Permalink


  5. BigTimin
    4:11 pm March 18, 2011 Permalink

    I think Jorts can be the game-changer against West Virginia. And if we get by the Mountaineers, I think he could be the difference maker against Ohio State. Harrellson’s post defense has improved immensely, and is almost as stark as his offensive improvement. He matches Sullinger’s size, and if he can defend Sullinger one-on-one without getting into foul trouble, that limits double teams we have to use preventing Craft and Deibler from getting as many open looks on the outside. In addition, his ability to find soft spots in the defense has opened up our offensive attack tremendously, and was the difference in the game yesterday. I can’t get over his improvement, and if we are able to make a deep run in the tournament, he, along with Darius Miller, will be the key.

  6. Hard Hittin' CAT
    4:13 pm March 18, 2011 Permalink

    I love the name of that pic of Jorts. Hover over it and check it out. Very nice Matthews Hays!!

  7. Syrin
    4:15 pm March 18, 2011 Permalink

    This team lives and dies with Brandon Knight. If he plays like he did against Princeton, we’re in trouble. Maybe all those minutes are catching up to him.

    Jorts can make a difference. If he could jump 5 inches higher, he’d be averaging 15 rebounds a game.

  8. catinhat
    4:21 pm March 18, 2011 Permalink

    3 – I know, and last year with Cousins/Patterson/Orton, we didn’t take advantage of it. It was maddening. Caught plenty of flack about Cal being “out-coached”, but it was hard to defend against the comment.

  9. still in it
    4:22 pm March 18, 2011 Permalink

    Just avoid getting burned on defense when he helps out too much, keep up the BLOCKS and Rock On, Jorts!

  10. Odd Man Out
    4:26 pm March 18, 2011 Permalink

    Jones has to come to play too…while Josh can carry a nice load now on the offense and defense, Jones has to show up! Whatever is ailing him…mind, body, whatever…he needs to forget it, fix it, do something!!

    Knight still was able to control the game even though he didn’t score. It’s not always a loss because he doesn’t score…but Jones has to show in these next games as the interior players are getting bigger and better!

  11. Fred Bread
    4:29 pm March 18, 2011 Permalink

    I really hope we beat WVU by more than 20

    4:33 pm March 18, 2011 Permalink

    Jorts year to year change is quite interesting, as he is not a typical Calipari type player. I just wonder if this makes Cal view that he has to continue to develop this type of player for the long term good of the team. And also…..can Jon Hood be the next one of these players to develop.

  13. SteveNash
    4:33 pm March 18, 2011 Permalink

    Jones has lost his confidence and I doubt it will be back, at least not for UK(NBA). But jones has to show up on D and hit the easy shots that he’s been missing. I’m afraid knight will have another bad game tommorrow, Mazzula is a hard nose defensive minded guard and could again prove to be to physical for Knight! But am glad to see that we don’t have to have our freshman carry the load any more, though it is nice when the whole team is clicking, I hate these tight games, make my stomach turn!!!!!
    Go cats!!!!

  14. cat fan
    4:41 pm March 18, 2011 Permalink

    When does UL play tomorrow? Oh that is right the ghetto commuter school lost to Morehead!!!! BAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  15. theGREATbluewa11
    4:44 pm March 18, 2011 Permalink

    Josh has grown so much this season, on and off the court. He feels like he is contributing to the Wldcats, giving him that edge we’ve all been dying to see out of him all year. Josh will show up tommorrow wearing the blue and white he deserves to wear, and will lead us to the sweet 16 for the 42nd time in UK mens basketball history. go cats, nuff said.

  16. reedwizard
    4:53 pm March 18, 2011 Permalink

    I’m worried about the refs for tomorrow. They let WVU play that bruising style and swallowed their whistles. If they let them play like that tomorrow, the CATS won’t have enough players by the end of the game to finish it.

  17. Viren
    4:59 pm March 18, 2011 Permalink

    One think I took out of second round is Kentucky played very poorly offensively and eeked out a win. West Virginia played one of their best offensive game against Clemson and they needed every one of those points. Cats can not put themselves in foul trouble and you know that’s one way teams tried to beat us this year i.e. North Carolina. I hope Harrellson and Jones play solid defense and if Neers hit shots so be it but not get into ticky tacky foul and watch the game from the sidelines. Here is a question will Kentucky have a two straight bad shooting day or will West Virginia have a two straight good shooting day? The good news is we can find out whether Cats wll be the first team in the round of 32 to get to Sweet Sixteen or first team in the round of 32 to go home. Go Cats!!

  18. Mike
    5:11 pm March 18, 2011 Permalink

    TJ doesn’t feel well… sad…has he not felt well for the last month or so???

  19. rubisdad
    5:35 pm March 18, 2011 Permalink

    Lamb and Miller attacking the baseline with the midrange jumper and floater will be a key with that being a soft spot against that zone

  20. Wildcat Blood
    6:32 pm March 18, 2011 Permalink


  21. Bledsoe's Biceps
    6:51 pm March 18, 2011 Permalink

    I think Jorts can be a big difference. Especially in firing up the rest of the team as he did in Thursday’s game. He is the one guy who knows 100% this is his last chance to go to a final 4. All the others have an option to come back and try again. Whether they do or not is another issue. So keep reminding them Jorts.

  22. Jimmy Dykes
    7:24 pm March 18, 2011 Permalink

    You’re not likely to see WV playing any 1-3-1 zone in the game tomorrow, that was just something Huggy-bear broke out to deal with last year’s team. That is why they had such problem with it; they weren’t expecting to see a 1-3-1. No way they would try that against this team, Lamb would have 50 from the corners.

  23. bung
    7:38 pm March 18, 2011 Permalink

    Are these guys the next Fiddlin Five?

  24. mike
    2:57 am March 19, 2011 Permalink

    starting next year UK needs to give out the Josh Harrellson award to the player with the most heart, they should also make the trophy a bronzed pair of Jorts