You know whose position became a great deal more important in the last few weeks? Yep thats right, the man they (we) call Jorts has taken on added importance for the 2011 season. Dont believe me? Look at the roster…as of now, there are 9 scholarship players on the 2011 roster and only one of them classifies as a “big man.” Enes Kanter is the #3 prospect in America, but he could have foul trouble, might occasionally get tired and could even potentially have some eligibility issues when the season starts. Terrence Jones and/or Marcus Thornton are in the pipeline, but neither is a true center and both will have the same issues of fouls and stamina that we will see from Kanter. What does that mean? It means we get to see more Jorts.
Last season was never a time that Josh Harrellson was going to get a lot of minutes. He had two top 20 talents ahead of him at center and two more experienced players ahead of him at Power Forward. That basically mean that he only saw rare duty in serious foul situations or at the end of games. He never truly got a chance to showcase his outside shooting and when he did play, he always seemed a step slow. Starting next year however, UK will need him to play and play well. His shooting will open up things from outside and his ability to take up space down low will be a must as he shares the position with Enes. UK simply wont have the depth for Jorts not to play and he HAS to take his game to another level.
When Calipari came in, he had two big men on the roster, one of which he could keep. The choices were Josh “Jorts” Harrellson and Matt “Beast” Pilgrim. In part because he liked the way he played and in part because of off the court issues, Calipari chose Jorts as the one he wanted to stay. Last year that decision didnt mean a great deal either way, as Patterson/Stevenson/Orton and Cousins all held down the positions that Jorts would have occupied. That is not the case next year. No matter what the final roster looks like, Josh Harrellson will have to be a meaningful part of it. He is getting in shape and getting ready to produce next year. Good thing, because its time for him to step up to the next level and turn the UK Erruption Zone into a Sea of Denim.