While the main focus of the college basketball world this past weekend was the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 rounds of the ongoing NCAA Tournament, Kentucky point guard Ryan Harrow made national headlines. Harrow, a 6-2 sophomore guard who averaged 9.9 points and 2.8 assists for the Wildcats this season, announced that he will transfer to Georgia State next season.
Many can look at this move as Harrow avoiding being benched behind incoming 2013 ESPN top point guard prospect, Andrew Harrison, however Harrow’s former coach, John Calipari, said in a statement that Harrow is transferring to be closer to his father who is dealing with a health issue. Harrow is a native of Marietta, Ga.
The guard will be joining what is now a loaded mid-major backcourt that was the key to head coach Ron Hunter’s club’s success last season. Harrow will join thousand-point scorer Devonta White, the ever-solid Rashaad Richardson and freshman phenom R.J. Hunter.
Hunter, the coach’s son, averaged 17.0 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.8 assists en route to earning Colonial Athletic Association Rookie of the Year and 1st Team Honors last season. Now, preparing to move to the Sun Belt, Hunter is very confident and excited about the team’s potential.
“It’s huge news for us and only a building block for next year,” Hunter said of Harrow’s transfer. “I thought coming in next year we had a really good chance at winning the Sun Belt. And when you add one of the greatest point guards in the country to our team along with the top point guard in the conference that’s just a dynamic point guard. I don’t know how the rotation will work or what positions we’ll play, but we’re gonna be fun to watch next year.”
But just how fun does the coach’s son think they can be?
“I’ve been watching Louisville in the Tournament and all I’ve been thinking is that Devonta and Siva are going to play like [Peyton] Siva and Russ Smith,” Hunter said. “That’s all I see when I watch Louisville play. I can see the two point guard thing working like I see them make it work, so whatever I need to do, whatever position I need to play, I’ll do it.”
A dynamic backcourt and terrific perimeter play will certainly be the identity of the Panthers during their inaugural year in the Sun Belt. With 6-10 senior center James Vincent graduating this spring, GSU will be very inexperienced up front. With that in mind, they will need great chemistry from their guards to succeed.
And Hunter thinks that’s already forming.
“He’s just a really down to earth kid,” Hunter said. “I’m so glad he’s coming here. I’m even more glad that I can just hang out with him and chill with him and talk basketball with him. Coming from Kentucky to Georgia State you could be kind of a prima donna but he’s down to earth and I love having him here.”
With Harrow transferring, you may see coach Hunter frequently use a four-guard lineup with 6-7 forward Manny Atkins in the middle offensively, though Atkins loves to shoot the three.
Per CBSSports.com, Harrow will request a waiver to play immediately with the Panthers due to his father’s health.