NEW YORK -- Kentucky boasts one of the most star-studded lineups in college basketball every season, and this one will be no different. But in Friday's season opener against Maryland, it wasn't super-freshmen Nerlens Noel, Archie Goodwin, Alex Poythress or Willie Cauley-Stein who stole the show.
Instead, it was junior Jarrod Polson, an unheralded former walk-on, who came up huge for the defending national champs, scoring 10 points, including two pressure-filled free throws with seven seconds left in No. 3 Kentucky's 72-69 win at the Barclays Center.
Before Friday night, Polson, a 6-foot-2 guard out of Nicholasville, Ky. a player who chose to walk on with Wildcats over an offer from Liberty University had taken nine career shots. He had made just one basket. He'd played just 62 minutes over the course of two whole seasons.
In fact, Polson was so far from factoring into Maryland coach Mark Turgeon's game plan coming into the game that Turgeon didn't even know who he was when he ...