BREAKING: TWINS PICK KENTUCKY
Never doubt John Calipari. Maryland failed to protect their house, and Kentucky solidified their stance near the top of college basketball for another year.
The twins announced they will attend the University of Kentucky for the next four years.
You read that correctly. Four years.
Andrew will be the next in line for an unprecedented run of point guards for Calipari. With Aaron at his side, Kentucky sits alone atop the class rankings for 2013.
So who's next for the Wildcats?
Will it be James Young, an elite wing scorer? Or will it be a post player like Marcus Lee, Julius Randle or Jermaine Lawrence? Will Andrew Wiggins, the best high school basketball player in the world, officially reclassify for the 2013 class and join the twins in Lexington?
Who knows. What we do know is that the Kentucky backcourt is set for the next two years.
Big Blue Nation can breathe a sigh of relief, having snagged the two best guard prospects in the 2013 class. The Wildcats are on their way to having one of the best recruiting classes in college basketball history.
For Maryland, head coach Mark Turgeon missed out on two program-changing athletes. The program is on the up, sure. But the Harrison twins would have immediately vaulted the Terrapins into the elite programs in the nation.
Read on for my analysis of the twins and the three schools involved prior to the decision.
Today is the day. This is the day that Aaron and Andrew Harrison announce where they intend to play college basketball. The pair of twins from Travis High School will make their decision known at 5 p.m. on ESPNU.
Aaron and Andrew are considered to be one of the best package deals in the history of college basketball. Andrew, the point guard, and Aaron, the shooting guard, are ranked second and fourth in the 2013 ESPN 100.
You can check the Rivals 150. Go ahead and check the Scout.com rankings as well. The twins are two of the best prospects in the 2013 class. If you're still not a believer, check out their Ball is Life highlight video from earlier this year.
The twins have a lethal size and skill combination. Both are listed at 6'5" and 200-plus pounds. That size allows Andrew to check any point guard in the backcourt. Aaron can shoot over smaller guards, and his handle is just as smooth as his brother's.
That short synopsis should make one thing clear: These two complement each other better than any other duo in the 2013 class.
Oh, and if you didn't catch it the first time, they will attend the same school. Which school though? USA Today's Eric Prisbell weighs in:
Just got a call from a coach who hears this Harrison decision may go other way now. Grab a coin and flip it. No predictions from me. None.
— Eric Prisbell (@EricPrisbell) October 4, 2012
Three colleges have a shot at having the best backcourt tandem in the country in 2013-14: Kentucky, Maryland and Southern Methodist.
SMU is clearly the odd team out in the trio of candidates, but Aaron Harrison Sr. says head coach Larry Brown keeps the Mustangs in the running.
"Andrew could tell you everything there is to know about Larry Brown," he told Ben Roberts of the Lexington Herald-Leader.
SMU doesn't have the resources that Kentucky can offer, nor do they have the Under Armour connection that Maryland boasts. But they have location and a legendary coach, two factors that shouldn't be ruled out.
Let's move on to the favorites: Kentucky and Maryland. There has been an oppressive amount of articles regarding the two schools and where they stand with the twins in the past few weeks.
Articles about the aforementioned Under Armour connection make it look like Maryland is the front-runner. Talk of disagreement within the family makes it sound like Kentucky is the school the twins want to attend. But both claims have been quieted by the Harrison family, leaving everyone but the pair of brothers guessing as to who could possibly be in the lead at his point.
Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon visited with the twins' father for lunch just one day before the decision. That may mean Maryland has the late edge, but no one knows. It's still a coin flip at this point, with the infinitesimal possibility that the coin lands on its edge (that would be SMU, in this case).
Turgeon has recruited the twins since his time at Texas A&M. Shaquille Cleare, one of Aaron and Andrew's good friends, plays at Maryland. The Harrisons have family in the Baltimore area. Not to beat a dead horse, but the Under Armour connection is a perk for Maryland that cannot be understated.
But do those qualities make College Park a more enticing destination over Lexington?
Kentucky is the powerhouse that went from NIT to NCAA champion in three years under recruiting mastermind John Calipari—a coach that is friends with hip-hop stars and has placed more players in the NBA than any other college coach in the past three years.
Some coaches are pulling for Kentucky, for various reasons:
Two high-major coaches have told me they're pulling for UK. Why? "Because Cal can only take so many. This would fill two of his slots."
— Gary Parrish (@GaryParrishCBS) October 4, 2012
Or could SMU pull the biggest recruiting coup of all time? Could Brown, the only coach who has reached the pinnacle of NCAA and NBA achievement (Kansas Jayhawks national title in 1988, Detroit Pistons title in 2004), keep the twins in state?
The best chances for the twins to win an NCAA title clearly lie with Kentucky and Maryland. But they are almost certain to be NBA players after one year in college, regardless of what school they attend. Will they head for the bright lights in Lexington? Will they take their talents to College Park? Or will they stay in state and pick SMU?
Any leaked news, updates and analysis will be provided right here. When the decision is made official this evening, check back for my instant reaction and analysis.
The most recent news comes from Cats Illustrated. Matt Jones of Kentucky Sports Radio sent out this tweet last night:
Cats Illustrated cites a source saying the Harrison Twins have picked Kentucky. We shall see
— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) October 4, 2012
Rumors of Harrison Sr. shopping for a condo in Maryland have entered the discussion as well. If true, it doesn't indicate Maryland is the school of choice (after all, he has family in Maryland already). This is just another example of the extent of media coverage that this decision is receiving.
Until the twins make their announcement, you'll be hearing a lot more "sources" saying the twins have selected a school. Let's not jump the gun just yet.
Feel free to leave your predictions and reasoning in the comments below.