Where has Jorts gone?

Thomas Beisnerover 10 years

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Aritcle written by:Thomas BeisnerThomas Beisner
josh-harrellson-mose There's no shortage of talking points following Kentucky's loss in Gainesville, which sank them to 4-4 in the conference and 1-4 on the road.  As we mentioned right after the game, falling to Florida on the road is not a cause for desperation, but given the road leading up to it, there is legitimate concern about whether this team has regressed as the season has gone on.  I don't think that's necessarily the case.  I just think what John Calipari has is a flawed team.  It's just as flawed as it was when the season began, but the issues were masked throughout the non-conference slate thanks to three things:  rebounding, three-point shooting and the consistency of Josh Harrellson.  The shooting and rebounding have been up-and-down during league play and will undoubtedly fluctuate from game-to-tame.  Josh Harrellson's contributions, though, have tailed off considerably in the last five games and with that drop, Kentucky's biggest weakness has been exposed.  In the season's first 18 games, Harrellson contributed seven points and just under 10 rebounds per game in helping the Cats get off to a 14-3 start.  He also shot a team-best 61% from the floor and committed only about 2 fouls per game.  His contributions were as efficient as they were surprising.  In the last five games, though, Harrellson has struggled as much as his team has in going 2-3.  In the five-game stretch, he's dropped to only three points and six rebounds per game and is shooting 38%.  Even worse, he's committing nearly four fouls per game.  He's also essentially been a non-factor at the end of every game as Calipari has gone small or been forced to sit him because of fouls.  Kentucky's roster is not going to change between now and March.  But that doesn't mean they can't transform into a different team.  If they are going to get back to where they were early in the season, they're going to have to get the contributions from the guys who helped masked all of their flaws in the non-conference schedule.  Josh Harrellson is one of those guys and, arguably, the most important.  Outside of the Louisville game, he wasn't particularly spectacular.  But, the beauty in his contribution was the consistency.  Kentucky desperately needs that again.

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2021-09-26