Kentucky Basketball: What If John Calipari Misses Out on the Harrison Twins?

Matt OveringContributor IIIAugust 28, 2012

Image via
Image via

It's a scenario Big Blue Nation would prefer to never see come to fruition: Aaron and Andrew Harrison not selecting Kentucky. With the news that the twins will not visit Kentucky, Dave Telep's notion that "Maryland closed the gap" is a very real possibility. 

On the bright side, the Harrisons have nothing bad to say about the Kentucky program and John Calipari. The Wildcats have long been considered the leader for the pair of guards, and their familiarity with the program is the reason behind their decision to take their official visits elsewhere.

Here, we'll look at the negative side of the Harrison recruitment.

One could assume that, because they are not visiting Kentucky, Aaron and Andrew have all the information they need on the school as a whole.

That, by most accounts, puts the Wildcats in the lead for the Harrisons' services. Calipari's recruiting pitch is complete. 

Kentucky could be in the lead. That is a very realistic (if not real) possibility. But that lead cannot grow, unless their visit with Maryland goes horribly wrong. 

So why have the Harrison twins not decided? 

Jeff Borzello of CBS Sports cites multiple reasons as to the decline of commitments, some of which affect the Harrison twins.

Borzello indicates the rule change in official visits (teams can pay for players and parents on official campus visits) makes the parents more involved. Aaron Harrison Sr. grew up in Maryland, and an official visit to College Park sounds nostalgic, to say the least.

Another possible reason for the Harrisons' non-commitment to Kentucky is the NCAA rule change allowing unlimited texting and calling to prospects. Borzello states that because of this, "the kids have built stronger relationships with even more coaches."

Consider that Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon has recruited the twins since his days at Texas A&M, and you can see why they would be hesitant to cut the Terps from their list.

So...what if Calipari does miss out on the Harrison twins? What if they do select Maryland on Oct. 29?

Maybe not disastrous, but unfortunate? Yes.

Calipari's 2013 recruiting class has centered around the twins. Some players, like Xavier Rathan-Mayes and Wayne Selden, cut the Wildcats from their list—possibly because of the Wildcats' involvement with the Texas duo.

Options are thin for the 2013 class at guard behind the Harrison twins—specifically at point guard. Kentucky has offered a scholarship to one uncommitted point guard in the 2013 class—Andrew Harrison.

The next-best available point guard is Anthony "Cat" Barber, teammate of Troy Williams. Williams has an offer from Kentucky and the two have talked about playing together in college. Barber has not received a scholarship from Kentucky. It's a long shot to think Barber and Williams come to Lexington, but anything can happen.

Aside from Barber, James Young is the only other non-Harrison guard that is considering Kentucky (according to ESPN recruiting). 

And who knows? Ryan Harrow or Archie Goodwin may stay for another year. 

But the ideal backcourt for the 2013-14 Kentucky Wildcats starts and ends with the Harrison twins.