As we all know, the Harrison Twins, perhaps the biggest package deal in the past decade of college basketball are slated to make their college decision at 5:00PM tomorrow. The decision is said to come down to Kentucky, Maryland, and SMU. Because of what is at stake, this recruitment has been scrutinized and played out in the media. Kentucky seems to have the advantage in John Calipari. SMU has Calipari’s mentor, Larry Brown. And Maryland has … Under Armour? USA Today’s Eric Prisbell explains:
Harrison Sr., said that until September even the college coaches courting his sons had to go through dad first. One exception: Chris Hightower, in charge of basketball marketing at Under Armour.
“He is my saving grace that there are some upright, straight, humane people in the basketball business,” Harrison Sr. said. “He is the one guy who can call Aaron and Andrew.
“They text him, ‘Hey, Chris, appreciate what you sent us, thanks a lot. Hey, Chris, do you have a black hoodie? Does Under Armour make this or that?’ He will text them, ‘Great game I saw on TV.’ “
Former shoe company czar Sonny Vaccaro seems to indicate that if it were a basketball only decision, it should be Kentucky:
“There is no logical reason for someone to think Maryland competing with Kentucky for two of the best players in this class,” Vaccaro said. “It is illogical. Maryland has not won a game since 1919, since Gary (Williams) won the championship (in 2002). They have had problems. And you are talking about Kentucky — Kentucky. They choose who they want.”
Ben Roberts had a chance to talk to the twins dad yesterday and we learned that John Calipari has made a second, secret visit to the Harrisons recently that we previously had not known about:
Maryland coach Mark Turgeon will make one last trip to Houston on Wednesday in an attempt to either reinforce or reverse the Harrisons’ decision. It’ll be Turgeon’s third visit to see the twins since the contact period began last month.
John Calipari, who visited the twins on the first day of the contact period, has actually been to Houston twice in the last few weeks. Harrison Sr. declined to name the date of the UK coach’s second (and previously unknown) visit.
“He asked me not to disclose that, but he has been here (twice),” he said.
Bottom line is, this is still the twins decision and not anyone else’s. From all indications the twins have been set on a decision for a while and they seem pretty determined in their choices. I know there is a lot of Maryland smoke right now, but on Thursday, I still think the call will be Kentucky.
There was other recruiting news as well. Andrew Wiggins, the best player in both the 2013/2014 class will attend Big Blue Madness on October 12. Wiggins joins a BBM roster of Derek Willis, Marcus Lee, JaQuan Lyle, Cliff Alexander, and perhaps the Harrison Twins. Expect more names to come in the next week or so.
The other big news is that Julius Randle, 2013′s top player has cut his lit of teams to six and it was somewhat of a shock that Duke and UNC were cut. Randle’s final six is Kentucky, NC State, Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. Ironically, Randle took Roy William’s advice about “not stringing teams along” when he cut UNC. Florida and Texas should be Kentucky’s main competitors