UK’s Andrew Harrison plans to play through injury
ST. LOUIS (AP) Kentucky guard Andrew Harrison says he plans to play in Sunday’s game against top-seeded Wichita State after hurting his right elbow late in Friday night’s win over Kansas State.
Harrison replied, ”Yes, sir,” when asked before the Wildcats’ practice Saturday whether he planned to play. Asked whether he planned to practice, Harrison stumbled before replying, ”Coaches told me to do whatever I can do. I’m going to go out and do everything I can.”
Harrison hurt his elbow with 74 seconds left while trying to strip a Kansas State player of the ball. He had an X-ray after the game that came back negative.
”I think he’s going to be all right, but we have to prepare. What happens if he doesn’t play? What happens if he’s 70 percent and he doesn’t play?” Kentucky coach John Calipari said. ”He looks good. I think he’ll be fine.”
Harrison said that he may have hyperextended his elbow when he made a swiping movement that caught more of his opponent’s arms than the ball. He checked out of the game, checked back in just briefly, and then checked out again with his arm hanging by his side.
The freshman point guard finished with seven points on 1-for-6 shooting. He had five rebounds and five assists, but that was tempered by his six turnovers.
”I anticipate the kid playing,” Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall said. ”I saw the play and it looked a little awkward. It looked like it could be something, but he himself said, `If I have to play with one arm, I’m playing.’ So I anticipate them being at full strength.”
The Wildcats (25-10) could be in trouble without Harrison – or if he’s limited – given the guard-oriented nature of the Shockers. Wichita State (35-0) plays a pressure-style of man-to-man defense that puts a premium on good ball-handling and better decision-making.
Calipari was asked if he could envision Harrison not playing, and he responded, ”Sure. What if he’s 70 percent and I see it, and I say, `We can’t win with a guy at 70 percent?”
Of course, it would take Calipari seeing it. There’s no way Harrison would admit it.
”It’s in some pain,” he said, ”but I’ve just been icing it, and my coaches have been taking good care of me. We’ll just take it day by day.”