According to Eric Prisbell of USA Today, twins Andrew and Aaron Harrison and their father, Aaron Harrison, Sr., had lunch with Maryland coach Mark Turgeon and Maryland assistant coach Bino Ranson today.
Turgeon and Ranson traveled to Houston today to meet with the Harrison family just one day before the twins make their big announcement stating where they will play college basketball—Maryland or Kentucky.
This is the second time in as many weeks that the Harrisons have summoned the Maryland staff to Texas to discuss this recruitment.
Last week, InsideMDSports.com's Jeff Ermann reported (paid site) that Turgeon was in Texas to "seal the deal" on the Harrison twins. Today's visit came as a bit of a surprise to many, leading both Maryland and Kentucky fans to deeply ponder what they should really make of this meeting.
There are multiple angles Maryland can take on the significance of this visit.
The Optimistic Angle
Technically, SMU is still in the running to land the Harrison twins, despite being a serious underdog.
They most likely have not been eliminated due to a high level of respect for SMU coach Larry Brown. If this visit was to respectfully tell Turgeon that the twins are committing to Kentucky, wouldn't SMU be getting a "respect visit" as well?
Another argument that can be made is that Maryland and Texas are geographically very far from each other. It seems a bit outlandish to have someone travel three hours, there and back, just to be told "no."
If the Harrisons are going to request that the Maryland staff flies out to Texas the day before the announcement, it would make sense that the news would be positive. Therefore, Turgeon and Ranson could stay in Texas through Thursday and be in town for the announcement.
Going back to the Prisbell article, Aaron Harrison, Sr. states, "Maryland has come on strong in the end," through a phone call with Prisbell following the lunch. Harrison, Sr. has acted as somewhat of a spokesperson throughout this process.
In reality, no one is going to commend the school they just had lunch with if the meeting had a negative connotation. If the meeting was negative, Harrison, Sr. would have had a more unclear response to Prisbell that neither supported nor opposed Maryland.
The Pessimistic Angle
It is well known that the Harrison family carries the utmost respect for both Turgeon and Ranson. After two long, exhausting years of recruiting, it would seem fairly harsh for the Harrisons to inform Maryland over the phone that they are committing to Kentucky.
Instead, it would make sense that the Harrisons would fly Turgeon and Ranson down to Texas to respectfully explain to them why they are headed to Kentucky.
Another term that has been thrown around concerning the last-minute visit is "last-ditch effort."
A last-ditch effort would mean that Maryland feels that Kentucky is seriously closing the gap and locking down the twins. Maryland would feel the need to fly down and state their case one last time for the twins to attend Maryland in a desperate attempt to lure Andrew and Aaron to College Park.
A last-ditch effort is by no means a good thing. Despite Maryland receiving one last chance to meet with the Harrisons, it means that Kentucky is clearly in the lead.
Obviously, there are plenty of other reasons why Maryland should feel optimistic or pessimistic about their chances of landing the Harrison twins.These are the reasons solely pertaining to the visit between Mark Turgeon and Bino Ranson and the Harrison family that occurred one day before the big announcement.
Stay tuned for more updates surrounding this wild recruitment, and be sure to watch ESPNU tomorrow, Thursday, October 4, at 5:00 p.m. to watch Andrew and Aaron make their big announcement.