Ryan Harrow to transfer to Ga. State

Updated: March 31, 2013, 5:14 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Kentucky point guard Ryan Harrow will transfer to Georgia State, Wildcats coach John Calipari announced in a release Sunday.

[+] EnlargeRyan Harrow
Andy Lyons/Getty ImagesPoint guard Ryan Harrow is transferring from Kentucky to Georgia State due to a health issue involving his father.

Harrow averaged 9.9 points and 2.8 assists as a sophomore this past season with the Wildcats. He transferred to Kentucky from North Carolina State in 2011 and was not eligible to play on last season's national championship squad.

Calipari indicated that Harrow, a Marietta, Ga. native, is transferring to Georgia State due to a health issue with his father. CBSSports.com reported that Harrow will request a waiver to play immediately with the Panthers due to his father's health.

If the NCAA doesn't grant the waiver, Harrow would lose another year of eligibility.

"Given the health of his dad, we fully support Ryan's decision to transfer to Georgia State to be closer to his family in Atlanta," Calipari said in the release. "Ryan was a vital part of this year's team and an important player in practice during our 2011-12 national championship run."

The 6-foot-2 Harrow appeared in 29 games this past season and made 24 starts. But Harrow likely would have served as a backup behind incoming freshman Andrew Harrison, the top point guard in the 2013 ESPN 100 rankings, if he returned for his junior season at Kentucky.

"I want to thank Ryan for his efforts and hard work and wish him the best of luck at Georgia State," Calipari said. "I know the Big Blue Nation will keep a close eye on him and wish him well as he continues his basketball career and his pursuit of a college degree."

Harrow's decision comes nearly two weeks after indicating that he wanted to return to the Wildcats following their first-round NIT ouster by Robert Morris that ended a disappointing 21-12 season for the defending national champions.

There were promising moments where Harrow's quickness, penetration and scoring ability had Calipari suggesting he could be one of the nation's best point guards. Offsetting those performances were erratic efforts that typified Kentucky's guard play all season and led the coach to question their mental toughness.

Harrow started the opener against Maryland but missed the next four games because of an undisclosed illness and his departure to tend to a family matter back home in Marietta. The issue was not revealed at the time.

He returned to the starting lineup four games later and had perhaps his most productive stretch with eight straight double-figure efforts including a season-high 23 points against Marshall. Harrow's Southeastern Conference career also started well; he averaged 13.5 points and 4.5 assists to help Kentucky begin 3-1 in league play.

Then came an up-and-down stretch that included Harrow losing his starting spot to Jarrod Polson in a 30-point loss at Tennessee. He closed the regular season with strong outings, including 16 points each in wins over Missouri and Florida that kept alive Kentucky's hopes of earning an NCAA tournament at-large bid.

A four-point game followed against Vanderbilt at the SEC tournament, a 64-48 loss that ultimately left the Wildcats out of the 68-team field. Harrow broke down after the game and tearfully took the blame for the defeat.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.