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July 26, 2013

Previewing Jon Hood and Jarrod Polson's seasons

Over the next three weeks, Cats Illustrated will break down the 2013-14 Kentucky basketball team player-by-player with daily podcasts. You can see the full schedule here.

To get all the latest Cats Illustrated podcasts, subscribe on iTunes.

July 15Julius Randle
July 16Andrew Harrison
July 17Aaron Harrison
July 18Dakari Johnson
July 19Derek Willis
July 22James Young
July 23Marcus Lee
July 24Dominique Hawkins
July 25Alex Poythress
July 26Jon Hood & Jarrod Polson
July 29Willie Cauley-Stein
July 30Sam Malone, Brian Long, Tod Lanter, E.J. Floreal
July 31Season predictions
Jon Hood
Madisonville, Ky. (North Hopkins)
Jarrod Polson
Nicholasville, Ky. (West Jessamine)

Preview Podcast: Publisher Brett Dawson and staff writers T.J. Walker and Aaron Smith break down their expectations of Jon Hood and Jarrod Polson.

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Rewind: Both Hood and Polson played limited minutes, but both proved valuable in stretches, particularly Polson, who averaged 3.1 points and 1.7 rebounds in 13.8 minutes per game but had some shining moments. He scored 10 points in both UK's first game (a win against Maryland) and its last (a loss to Robert Morris). Hood, returning after a redshirt season due to a knee injury, played at least 15 minutes in three of UK's final six games. He averaged 1.5 points and 1.2 rebounds per game.

Fast Forward: Neither is expected to play significant minutes this season, but both could have important leadership roles. Polson will be in a competition for backup point guard minutes. Hood has been through seasons under Calipari and with talented teammates and could offer value either as a spot-up shooter or as a guide for a roster filled with young players.

John Calipari says: "Jon Hood, by the end of the year, for the first time had a breakthrough. And I was excited for him. He was one of those guys who played, he had fun playing, he didn't feel the weight of the world on him, he didn't have anything to prove. He went out to play. And Jarrod Polson ended up being one of our better guards at the end of the year."

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