[Moderated by Matt Jones]
Ten points, three assists, and one turnover in 31 minutes of play. Looking at that line blindly at the beginning of the season, you may have assumed it would belong to Ryan Harrow and Archie Goodwin, maybe even Julius Mays. Considering the cast we had when we first watched All-Access, Jarrod Polson seemed destined to continue his role as a reserve player content to earn minutes in games against LIU-Brooklyn and the like.
But Jarrod (from Wilmore!) wasn’t content. After making a statement early on in the season against Maryland, Jarrod played in every game (averaging nearly 14 minutes per outing) and ended the season averaging around 3 points a game. However, if you look at his stats after the Florida game (RIP Nerlens’ ACL), he scored 44 points over 9 games for right around a 5 point average- including an 11-point game at Tennessee (the thirty point loss immediately after the Nerlens news) and last night’s 10 point game against Robert Morris. Polson’s greatest efforts game when Kentucky needed a hero in the worst way possible- and although they were never enough singlehandedly, his heart shone through in every play.
He may not have been our best on-the-ball defender, he doesn’t have the lightening-fast moves of Archie, and he didn’t come to UK with the McDonald’s All-American label of most of his teammates. But Jarrod Polson never quit, even when UK was in the most demoralizing of situations, and in the absence of Nerlens Noel- who college basketball fans unanimously agree was the heart and hustle of the lackluster Kentucky underachievers- Polson rose to the occasion to lead by example and remind his teammates of what it means to play for the team on the front of the jersey.
Forget what Harrow, Goodwin, Poythress, and Cauley-Stein are doing next year. I want Polson back more than any of them. #OneMoreYear.
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