In the end, it all boils down to the Harrison twins for John Calipari and his 2013 Kentucky Wildcat Basketball recruiting class. And it looks like the Big Blue Nation will have to wait just a little bit longer to hear their college decision. Previously, the twins had set a date of their birthday, October 28 for an announcement. Then, in July, the date was pushed up to September. And now, according to Adam Zagoria, the date has been moved again, this time to October 29.
The Harrisons have a top five of Kentucky, Maryland, Baylor, Villanova, and SMU although recently they said that Kentucky, Maryland, and Baylor were the teams that were in the most contact with them. The pair plan to take visits in September, including one to SMU and they are rumored to be making a visit to BBM on October 12, although that has not been confirmed.
It is still good that the Harrisons are deciding in the early signing period, but you wonder whether this will cause a chain reaction of players pushing their decision to the Spring now to see what they do and what scholarships Kentucky may have available. If the Harrisons do make it to BBM, expect that to make a huge impression two weeks before their announcement and it appears that that may be their last visit and leave a lasting impression.
Another reason why other players may hold off until the spring is to see what Andrew Wiggins may do. From all indications, we should know soon whether Wiggins will reclassify into the 2013 class or not. In the meantime, recruits are taking other visits and may still come to BBM. Julius Randle took an unofficial visit to Ohio State on Sunday and Jabari Parker was at Stanford yesterday. Also, the 2014 class recruiting is in full swing to boot. Evan Daniels recently talked with KSTV and talked about Wiggins and touched on the 2013 and 2014 class.
I know that we focus a lot of John Calipari and his basketball recruiting prowess, but his humanitarian deeds are just as important. And it is one thing to simply write a check for a charity, Calipari goes one further and gives of his time as well as money. Last week, we talked about Calipari supporting the West Liberty tornado victims and this week, he just announced that Kevin Massey would be a student manager for this years basketball team.
Who is Kevin Massey and why is this news? Kevin Massey was a gravely ill teenager in Indiana who Calipari established a relationship with in February of 2010. Massey has an inoperable brain tumor and here is an excerpt from the story of Calipari’s first meeting with Massey about two years ago:
Cal made good on his word. According to one family member, both player and coach were moved to tears when the two met for the first time. Kevin, lying in his hospital bed, cried as the Kentucky coach entered his room. Calipari, touched by the kid’s love for the Cats and his dire situation, led the family in prayer at Kevin’s bedside.
“The family was pretty overwhelmed,” James said via phone. “It was an unbelievable experience for that family.”
Calipari brought with him the game ball from UK’s win over Alabama. It was covered in autographs from Wildcat players. When coach Cal left, Kevin never let the ball out of his sight.
Simply put, it’s amazing that Calipari not only dropped everything in his schedule to meet with Massey in 2010, but that he has maintained contact and is still making his dreams come true. And this is why Kentucky fans are so loyal and defensive about Calipari.