March brings familiar feelings to Ryan Harrow

Georgia State Athletics Harrow transferred from the University of Kentucky last season.

When the Sun Belt Conference Tournament rolls around later this month, Georgia State guard Ryan Harrow will be getting a familiar feeling going into another conference tournament with his third team.

Harrow has participated in the Southeastern Conference Tournament with Kentucky, where he witnessed a national championship run and the Atlantic Coastal Conference Tournament with North Carolina State his freshman season.

However, from team to team, Harrow’s role has evolved as he made his journey to Georgia State after transferring at the end of last year.

Ryan Harrow will play in his third conference tournament with his third school.
Ryan Harrow will play in his third conference tournament with his third school.

“I know a lot more,” Harrow said, comparing his game now to when his collegiate career began. As a freshman, Harrow averaged 9.3 points per game and 3.3 assists per game in 29 games that included 10 starts at North Carolina State.

“I was only a freshman, but I still got some pretty good minutes, and I was a little nervous at the time,” Harrow said of his time in Raleigh, N.C.

“I still thought scoring was the most important thing, so I would try to score a lot,” Harrow said about his mentality at North Carolina State while developing into a collegiate athlete.

However, Harrow’s mentality shifted to the importance of defense.

“I always seem to focus a lot more on the defensive end because the defense is kind of confusing,” Harrow said. “So, when we’re focusing on defense, I really just tell everybody to buckle down, lets work on this, cause we don’t really have to worry about our offense too much.”

Anyone who watches the Panthers knows Harrow as a calm, quiet, but exciting player, making cuts left and right fooling guards. However, that wasn’t always the case, according to Harrow.

“I let too many things affect me, on the court especially when I was a freshman,” Harrow said. “I look at things a lot differently now, and I try to always stay positive and don’t get to down on myself because it can affect you a lot.”

Once Harrow reached Kentucky, his playing style changed on account of having to redshirt a year. This gave him an opportunity to learn from watching his teammates on his championship team.

“The year that I did play there, I was more so trying to get everybody involved and be an extension of the coach,” Harrow said.

Harrow averaged 9.9 points per game along with 2.8 assists per game, which was down from his freshman season at North Carolina State in 24 starts last season at Kentucky.

Once Harrow decided to make the return to his home state and attend Georgia State, his production and style of play exploded like never before.

Harrow is mister do-it-all for the Panthers. He currently averages 17.3 points per game, fifth in the Sun Belt, along with 7.3 assists per game, third in the Sun Belt.

“I’m scoring a lot, and I’m getting everybody involved,” Harrow said. “I’m just trying to do anything I can to win.

Harrow’s journey to Georgia State has made him a leader, which is critical for a point guard to have in order for a team to be successful in postseason play. Harrow doesn’t see himself as a vocal leader, but he said he tries to lead by just playing hard.

“Sometimes when we’re playing, I’ll do a move or something, and it’ll get everybody excited and then all of a sudden it just starts clicking like R.J. [Hunter] starts hitting shots Manny [Atkins] starts hitting shots and then we just start rolling,” Harrow said.

It also makes Harrow’s job easier to have such good players around him to whom he can feed the ball. Harrow has grown to trust his teammates as the season has progressed, according to Head Coach Ron Hunter.

This was evident in the 80-77 victory over University of Louisiana at Lafayette when Harrow had the chance to take it all in his hands and force a last second shot, but he instead kicked the ball out to Atkins who nailed the game winner with .8 seconds remaining.

Harrow may be the silent leader for the Panthers, but his production has spoken loud and clear. The third team could be the charm for Harrow to finally carry a team to The Big Dance.