Two independent sources caught up with Aaron Harrison, Sr., the father of 2013 super-prospects Aaron Harrison and Andrew Harrison. According to both sources, the twins (top 10 prospects in their class) will "likely" pick from four finalists: Maryland, Kentucky, Villanova, and Baylor.
Jeff Errman of the Baltimore Sun puts a pro-Maryland spin on the Harrisons' recruitment. For those that are unfamiliar, the Harrisons are originally from the greater Baltimore area, and their grandparents still live there. The Harrisons are close to both head coach Mark Turgeon (who recruited them while at Texas A&M) and assistant coach Bino Ranson, an ace recruiter. Per Harrison, Sr., he's not pushing them one way or another. However, Kentucky does have two important traits the Harrisons are looking for: a family atmosphere and a winning program.
"The decision is their decision. I’m here to support them, but it’s their decision. [...] The most important thing is the opportunity to be part of a family. It’s always been a family thing for them. They could score a lot of points, but they’re about winning."
Five Star Basketball's Adam Zagoria and Harrison Sanford also had a chance to catch up with Harrison, père. He talks about how the twins would fit in with Maryland's program, including 2012 signee Shaquille Cleare. Cleare, from The Village School in Houston, is close to the Harrison brothers. On the AAU circuit, the trio plays for the Houston defenders, coached by Harrison, Sr.
Their friendship with Cleare won't be the deciding factor in the Harrisons' recruitment, though. Like in his interview with Errman, Harrison, Sr. listed the same four schools, and in particular, Five Star Basketball is reporting that Kentucky is "sure to be a factor." Why does Calipari want the Harrisons so badly? Their father explains:
"Their ball-handling ability and ability to get to the hoop. If they have a smaller guard, they can overpower him. If they have a bigger guard, they can go around him."
Last weekend, I went to see the Harrisons play in person for their high school team, Fort Bend Travis (Richmond, TX). I did a write-up for Barking Carnival, a Texas Longhorns SBNation blog, in which I completely agree with their father's sentiment. Here are my thoughts on Andrew, who posted a triple-double to help propel Travis to a victory.
I'm not in the habit of ogling teenagers unless her name is Kate Upton, but Andrew Harrison. My goodness! That kid is the real deal. There's no box score available for Travis, but he reportedly put up a triple-double line of 27 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists. His strength is breaking defenders off the dribble. He's stronger to his natural right, but can go left and possesses a killer crossover. I'd take his dribble-drive over Myck Kabongo's right now. Kabongo is faster, but Harrison is bigger and stronger with much better body control. Harrison's shot is still erratic, and there's no consistent release point. But he was money against Hightower, knocking down three-pointers and field goals with ease as his confidence in his shot kept rising.
As for where I think the Harrisons will end up playing? I still think Kentucky will be the choice, but Maryland shouldn't be discounted by any means. The Testudo Times, the Maryland Terrapins SBNation blog, agrees.
Basically already down to four? And one of those four being Villanova? That sounds good. Baylor's done a great job of recruiting and should be respected, but their success is always a little, uh, "eyebrow-raising," let's say. It's tough to know who it works on, and who'll say "A religious school with no basketball history in Middle of Nowhere, TX? No thanks." I'll say what I've always said: if it's anyone other than Maryland or Kentucky, I'll be floored.
What do you think? Before you decide, I'll leave you with these surely meaningless nuggets from my aforementioned Barking Carnival post.
It's worth noting that their head coach, Craig Brownson, shouted out a playcall quite loudly a few times during the game. That play name: "KENTUCKY". The play appeared to be a pick and roll with a Harrison brother utilizing a Coulter screen, with Coulter rolling to the basket ready to receive a pass. Shades of Brandon Knight and Josh Harrellson, imo. Then again, the Harrisons sport UnderArmour shoes (a sponsor of Maryland, another college finalist). So take what I noticed with a grain of salt.