- Jarrod Polson
- Hometown (Last School)
- Nicholasville, KY
- 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14
- May 8, 1991
Jarrod Polson was born on May 8, 1991, in Lexington, Kentucky to George and Chrisi Polson.
Polson played at Kentucky from 2010-2014. He was a member of the 2012 national championship team and was a four-time All-SEC Academic team member.
Playing for West Jessamine High School in January 2009, Polson set the KHSAA Kentucky state high school basketball record for free throws attempted and free throws made, in a game in which he also scored 51 points. He averaged 18.2 points, 6.4 assists, and 4.9 rebounds as a senior at West Jessamine High School, leading the squad to the second round of the Sweet 16 state tournament. Polson scored 40 of the team’s 60 points in the regional semifinals and 31 of the squad’s 51 points in the regional finals to help West Jessamine advance to the Sweet 16 state tournament. He finished his career as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 1,884 points and was named First Team All-State by a number of publications.
Polson was originally a walk-on for Kentucky, however, he quickly earned a full scholarship before his freshman year began, with Calipari calling him one of the best walk-ons he had ever had. In his freshman season, the Cats finished the season with a record of 29–9. During that season, Kentucky won the SEC Championship, won the NCAA East Region Championship, but lost in the Final Four to Connecticut (55–56). Polson played a total of 31 minutes where he had 2 rebounds, 2 personal fouls, 3 turnovers, and 6 points.
In his sophomore season, the Cats finished the season with a record of 38–2. During that season, Kentucky won the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Championship, won the SEC Regular Season Championship, lost in the finals of the SEC Championship Tournament to Vanderbilt, won the NCAA South Region Championship, and won the NCAA National Championship. Polson played a total of 31 minutes where he had 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 4 personal fouls, 5 turnovers, and 1 point. Polson played in 11 games. He saw action in UK’s NCAA Tournament-opening victory over WKU. He pulled down three career-high rebounds and notched his first point of the season with a free throw in career-high minutes against Penn State.
In his junior season, Polson suddenly found himself in the rotation after a break-out performance in the season-opening game against the Maryland on November 9, 2012. Coach Calipari subbed Polson in for Ryan Harrow, whose play was greatly hindered due to flu-like symptoms. Polson successfully handled the pressure and finished the game with 10 points, 2 rebounds (both offensive rebounds), 3 assists, 1 steal, and 0 turnovers. The one steal was off of a missed free throw by Nerlens Noel, which was rebounded by Terrapins guard Pe’Shon Howard. Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon later called Polson’s steal and acrobatic layup the “play of the game.” In the final seconds of the game, Polson extended Kentucky’s lead from 1 to 3 points by sinking two free throws. Dick Vitale commented that Polson was “the MVP for Kentucky” in that game, and Turgeon said that Polson was “the key” to Kentucky’s victory. After that game, Polson saw solid minutes off the bench for Kentucky, including a start in a losing effort against Tennessee on February 16, 2013 (Kentucky’s first game without Nerlens Noel, who suffered an ACL tear the previous game against Florida). Polson graduated in three years with a degree in Finance in the spring of 2013. He played in all 33 games and had three double-figure scoring efforts, while setting career-highs in nearly every category. Polson scored 10 points and dished out three assists in a career-high 31 minutes against Robert Morris in NIT and totaled four points, two rebounds and two assists in 13 minutes of work in win over Florida. He scored a career-high 11 points in his first career start at Tennessee while tying his career high with four rebounds. Polson hit his first career 3-pointer in SEC play while playing a career-best in league play 20 minutes to go along with three boards and two steals in a win over Auburn. He grabbed a career-high four rebounds in win over Eastern Michigan. Polson dished out a career-high four assists against Samford while tying career-best with two steals. He connected on his first career 3-pointer, scoring seven points, dishing out three assists, and recording a career-high two steals in a career-high 26 minutes against Lafayette.
Polson’s role diminished in his senior season as Kentucky reloaded with talented freshmen. In 33 games Polson scored just 32 points and failed to score in four appearances in the NCAA Tournament, when Kentucky’s surprising run to the title game was ended by Connecticut on April 7, 2014. Kentucky finished the season 29–11, and Polson got his only start on Senior Day, a 55–48 win over Alabama on March 4. Polson had his jersey retired at his alma mater West Jessamine High School, the first player in WJHS history to earn that distinction. He played a season-high 30 minutes at Mississippi State.
On This Day In UK Basketball History
- On December 10, 1951, Bob Burrow collected 34 rebounds against Temple for the most rebounds ever in a single game by a Kentucky player.
- On December 10, 1977, as top-ranked UK is defeating Kansas on “Adolph Rupp Night” in Allen Field House on Naismith Drive in Lawrence, Kansas, Rupp dies. Thousands would participate in the funeral procession in Lexington.
- On December 10, 2011, Indiana's Christian Watford hits a 3-pointer at the buzzer in Assembly Hall to stun No. 1 Kentucky. It's only the second time Indiana had beaten a top-ranked team at Assembly Hall.