Kentucky 74, Portland 46

John Calipari saw flashes of what he wants from Ryan Harrow. The

Kentucky coach hopes to hear more from the point guard, too.

Harrow posted season bests across the board Saturday as the

defending national champions beat Portland 74-46 Saturday.

The Wildcats (6-3) won their second in a row following a series

of losses that dropped them out of The Associated Press’ Top 25

poll for the first time under Calipari.

Harrow, a sophomore transfer from North Carolina State, had

eight points, six assists and four rebounds in 25 minutes. His

first season at Kentucky had gotten off to a shaky start when

flulike symptoms and an undisclosed family issue forced him to miss

four straight games.

”I liked it,” Calipari said. ”He had two lapses of his old

self. I absolutely jerked him out of the game because he’s not

playing that way.”

”The other parts of the game, I thought he did fine. Got to run

the team a little better, like yelling out what we’re doing. But he

was good. It was great to see. I’m happy for him,” he said.

Calipari is certain he needs a confident, poised point guard to

win, and is counting on Harrow.

Harrow confirmed Calipari’s notion that he must be more vocal

for Kentucky’s success. Because of his high-pitched, nasal voice,

that may require a bit of extra work, Harrow said.

”When I need to run something, I’ve got to be a little more

vocal,” Harrow said. ”I feel like I’m yelling, but my yelling is

like regular people’s talking. I guess I’ve got to scream until I

go hoarse.”

Harrow said he’s still adjusting to a few things, among which

was playing defense for every second the way Calipari expects. As

the season progresses and Kentucky’s half-court offense develops

under Harrow, he said he’ll have a more clear picture of when he

should shoot and when he should yield to his teammates.

Alex Poythress and Archie Goodwin each scored 15 points for

Kentucky. Julius Mays added 13 points and Kyle Wiltjer had 12.

Wiltjer had struggled in Kentucky’s last five games, shooting 4

of 27 from 3-point range. He countered his slump with a different

approach against the Pilots, opting for higher-percentage shots. He

went 5 of 8 from the field and 1 of 3 from behind the arc.

Ryan Nicholas finished with 15 points and 13 rebounds for


The Pilots (3-6) held court at Rupp Arena early in the first

half, tied at 10 nearly nine minutes into the game. But Poythress

scored two quick baskets to spark a 16-0 Kentucky run.

Portland closed the gap to 10 points early in the second half,

but the Wildcats followed with a 9-0 run to help seal the game.

”I don’t feel like we did a good job of putting pressure on

them all the time to exploit some mistakes that freshmen players

will make,” Portland coach Eric Reveno said. ”Whether it’s a

certain action you’re running, or a certain matchup you recognize

that you have a good opportunity to put a good player in a good

position, I’m not sure we did a good job. That is on our coaches,

not our players in terms of executing offense.”

Kentucky freshman center Nerlens Noel sustained a left leg

injury and limped around in pregame warmups, but played 32 minutes.

He finished with seven points, nine rebounds and seven blocks. The

seven blocked shots were the most in a game for a Kentucky player

this season.