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“Harrison Day” Eve: What Can Maryland Do?

“One! I’ll even take just one of you! You can pick between yourselves, please.”

As we prepare for “Harrison Twin Day” at Kentucky Sports Radio, other college basketball folks around the nation are considering the epic struggle between the Wildcats and the University of Maryland for the services of the dynamic backcourt duo.

Sports Illustrated’s Rob Dauster considered all the advantages that Maryland has in the recruitment, and why they might not matter in the long run (I’ve numbered them in brackets):

It doesn’t matter that [1] the twins’ father, Aaron Harrison Sr., who doubles as their AAU coach, is from Baltimore or that he has [2] plenty of extended family a short drive from Maryland’s College Park campus. It doesn’t matter that [3] Harrison Sr. has a great relationship with Maryland assistant Bino Ranson, or that [3] he’s developed a measure of reverence for Mark Turgeon for the way that Turgeon handled the death of recruit Tobi Oyedeji. Oyedeji, who hails from the same area in Texas as the Harrisons, was committed to Turgeon at Texas A&M when he was killed in a car accident the night of his junior prom. The way Harrison Sr. tells it, [4] that inspired him to contact Turgeon about recruiting his sons, who were high school freshmen at the time.

Should I also mention that [5] the Harrison’s AAU team, the Houston Defenders, is sponsored by Under Armour, the same company that sponsors the Terps? What about the fact that [6] Under Armour’s founder is a former Maryland football player? Or that [7] a former Defender teammate and close friend of the Harrison twins, Shaquille Cleare, is currently a freshman forward for the Terps?

In a normal recruitment, that’s a lock.

What we’ve seen from Calipari, though, is that you can’t expect things to go normally.

Dauster continues by discussing Cal’s ties to famous rappers, most famously Jay-Z and Drake, who both happen to be among Julius Randle’s favorites.  He mentions how Calipari has cultivated the Kentucky Effect (even though he doesn’t call it that), and says, probably accurately, that Cal’s biggest strength is relating with players.

The question that I find, though, is this: should the Harrisons pick Kentucky (and I’m knocking on every piece of wood here), even with all the Terps’ advantages, can any other program believe that they have a “lock” when it comes to recruiting a top-ten player?  On paper, Maryland has as much in their favor as a school possibly can.  Family ties, shoe ties, strong relationships with coaches… everything that seems to sway young players to a particular school seems to be in Maryland’s favor.  And yet, Turgeon is fighting for his life with a visit with the Harrisons this afternoon.  Why?

The only thing that Maryland doesn’t have is a top-tier pedigree.  But the Terps aren’t exactly mid-major.  They’ve recently won a national championship (within the Harrisons’ lifetimes), and are a flagship basketball program in the basketball-heavy ACC.  While it’s not among the five “blueblood” programs, Maryland basketball is no slouch.  They’re good, and have a lot of tradition.

Essentially, Maryland has every advantage a coach would want, but it might not be enough.  That it’s even this close a call is fairly illuminative of Calipari’s far-reaching influence.  When he nabbed players from North Carolina (Wall), Indiana (Teague), and Florida (Knight), we knew that he could pluck players living under the shadow of successful programs.  Should he manage to get a commitment from Aaron and Andrew, who have the tentacles of a successful program draped around their young careers, it’s fair to say that there will be no limits to his prowess.

Saying Calipari is a great recruiter is nothing new.  Saying that he’s the best of the current generation might get you some scowls from out-of-staters, but nobody’s going to outright disagree.  But consider just how difficult this particular recruiting battle is, even for Calipari.  Literally everything that could go Maryland’s way has done just that.  But here he is, right in the middle of it, with many whose job consists of predicting such things considering Kentucky to be the favorite.  If the twins pick Kentucky, every glimmer of hope that other coaches had will be gone.  Dead, at the hands of the Kentucky Effect.

We already know Calipari’s great with accumulating talent; tomorrow he’ll have a chance to flex his recruiting muscles.

Article written by Corey Nichols

51 Comments for “Harrison Day” Eve: What Can Maryland Do?

  1. RICK
    9:07 am October 3, 2012 Permalink

    Dont think we will get these guys but you never know. It wont be the end of the world if we dont.

  2. Bruce Pearl
    9:11 am October 3, 2012 Permalink

    They are Cats. And, Cal has reamed me again.

  3. Azubuike's Bicep
    9:11 am October 3, 2012 Permalink

    At what point does a father step back and say, “I’ve raised you well enough for you two to make your own decision.”

  4. Eric K
    9:19 am October 3, 2012 Permalink


  5. justafish2002
    9:23 am October 3, 2012 Permalink

    Nice counting…

  6. Grammar Police
    9:23 am October 3, 2012 Permalink

    “The question that I find, though, is this?” What does that even mean??? I get spelling something wrong but typing a whole sentence that makes no sense is for first graders.

  7. kentuckyjoe
    9:24 am October 3, 2012 Permalink

    They have all the knowledge about the programs that they need at this point. It depends on how badly they want to compete for a national championship in the one and only year they’ll be in school. And do they want never-ending fan adoration and loyalty from tomorrow night on until the end of time? Do they prefer superior facilities? Do they want to be teammates with, and compete against, the best of the best everyday in practice? Do they want to be a part of the best tradition in the game? And do they want a coach that has a great track record of producing men and pro ballers? Do you shoot for the top, or do you settle for less? We’ll see how they choose.

  8. Eric
    9:30 am October 3, 2012 Permalink

    Matt Jones needs to explain how he thinks this is such a UK lean. Everything I’ve read seems like they’re heading to Maryland. Sure hope I’m wrong, these kids are studs.

  9. Hang Ten!!!!!!!
    9:33 am October 3, 2012 Permalink

    Harrison-Twins, Young, Gordon and Randle

  10. Corey Nichols
    9:33 am October 3, 2012 Permalink

    6 – Notice there’s a colon (:) indicating that the sentence isn’t quite through, yet. Maybe you skipped that day in your first grade class last week.

  11. KatyCat
    9:35 am October 3, 2012 Permalink

    Why would anyone not want to be a cat? That said, which program is going to give them the “guaranteed” starting positions in their one year of college play. Not sure UK can promise that. Hope I’m wrong….

  12. just saying
    9:37 am October 3, 2012 Permalink

    Cal usually goes into full blown defense mode when he discovers a player he has recruited goes somewhere else. Because I havent seen any “this program isnt for everyone” tweets or interviews, Im pretty confident the Harrison twins have already chosen UK, as Im sure calipari would know by know if they had chosen Maryland. I think Cal had Young on campus for this reason, the news flowing that Young may committ pushed up the date (nothing like a little pressure to get this thing over with)

  13. Jones Returns
    9:38 am October 3, 2012 Permalink

    #11…no offense, but get a clue

  14. Eric
    9:38 am October 3, 2012 Permalink

    I think both these kids are pretty much guaranteed starting spots… If they committed and Harrow were to stay, maybe Andrew wouldn’t start? But I would assume Aaron would start. Thats only if atleast one of Poythress or Goodwin leave.

  15. Corey Nichols
    9:42 am October 3, 2012 Permalink

    Top 5 players start. Cal tried to start Miller over MKG, but saw that was a mistake. Young might be 6th man should things fall that way.

  16. bluebabyblue
    9:46 am October 3, 2012 Permalink

    Until this article was written, the Harrison twins were coming to UK. Then somebody decided to LIST 7 reason they should stay in Maryland and highlight them in a blue box. When Aaron Harrison Sr. read it and showed it to the twins, they said, “you know what, KRS is right, we have way too many reasons to stay in Maryland, so we will!”

  17. bluebabyblue
    9:47 am October 3, 2012 Permalink

    Until this article was written, the Harrison twins were coming to UK. Then somebody decided to LIST 7 reason they should stay in Maryland and highlight them in a blue box. When Aaron Harrison Sr. read it and showed it to the twins, they said, “you know what, KSR is right, we have way too many reasons to stay in Maryland, so we will!”

  18. tom
    9:50 am October 3, 2012 Permalink

    Has anyone determined yet who scheduled tonight’s Terp visit to the Harrison’s? Someone said it well yesterday. If the family asked for the visit..soyonara Harrrison’s; hope you enjoy the DC area. However if Maryland asked for it, the visit takes on a whole new meaning.

  19. Jack Nicklaus
    9:50 am October 3, 2012 Permalink

    Corey….very good post. Also, you use of the colon was spot-on.

  20. warrior
    9:51 am October 3, 2012 Permalink

    Warrior_sayeth ” I hate Under Armour with every fiber of my body”.

  21. KatyCat
    9:53 am October 3, 2012 Permalink

    #13, no offense taken. I made that comment based on a conversation I had this morning with a co-worker. His son currently plays college ball on the west coast and after listening to some of his thought processes, it got me looking at it in a different angle.

  22. Wildcats Dominate
    10:00 am October 3, 2012 Permalink

    16 – How will the twins “stay” in Maryland? They live in Texas.

  23. Cat Daddy
    10:03 am October 3, 2012 Permalink

    This is the first of many articles today prepping the fan base to feel better about losing these kids. Why put up an article framed this way? Under Armour sucks.

  24. emlang08
    10:04 am October 3, 2012 Permalink

    Does anyone look at it this way:

    The Twins chose UK, out of respect for all of the “ties” to the Maryland Program and people associated with it. The Father has invited the Terps to their home the night before the announcement to politely let them know of the decision, instead of finding out the “Lebron way”?

  25. UKMike
    10:08 am October 3, 2012 Permalink

    Having the Harrisons come to UK would be the makings of a super class, but it sure looks like they’re headed to Maryland.

    that said, James Young would be a great get for SG….do we count on Harrow not being quite good enough for the NBA and staying for his senior year? or does Cal have a backup plan for another PG – seems as though all the top talent have committed elsewhere.

  26. KentuckyJoe
    10:11 am October 3, 2012 Permalink

    A little research shows that Maryland has not landed a Five star recruit in over 10 yrs! Kentucky lands one every 10 weeks, looks like an easy call.

  27. Moosem102
    10:13 am October 3, 2012 Permalink

    From a reliable source close to the harrisons’, the meeting with Maryland today is not happening because they are 100% coming to UK. I am dead serious and Cal is a beast on the recruiting trail

  28. emlang08
    10:14 am October 3, 2012 Permalink

    #25 – Cal not having a back up plan, sounds to me like he does not need one!

  29. MemphisCat
    10:36 am October 3, 2012 Permalink

    It seems strange that a school will go across the country to see some players that are going to make their annoucement the next day, unless the players/family want to let them down face to face vice doing it on the phone. Maryland has put all their eggs in one basket with the recruitment of the Harrison’s and the family thinks it is the right thing to do to let them down in person. If Maryland know’s the deal they might not go to Texas unless they want to try one last time. This might turn into another T. Jones recruitment, commit to Maryland tomorrow then decommit and come to UK where dreams come true!

  30. CatSinceBirth
    10:37 am October 3, 2012 Permalink

    I’m beginning to wonder whether Matt is actually a UK fan, or not. Maybe he should have gotten an in home visit, and told them the 7 reason why they should go to Maryland. Come on Matt, you’re better than that.

  31. UKBlue1!
    10:56 am October 3, 2012 Permalink

    Comparing UK to UM is like comparing the Roman Empire to Canada. Canada is a nice country but it is No Roman Empire.

  32. Will S
    10:56 am October 3, 2012 Permalink

    Yesterday I said the Twins were virtual locks for Maryland. Today, I am doing a 180 degree turn. I have no rationale, no reason, no inside sources– I just can’t doubt Cal on the recruiting trail.

  33. Corey Nichols
    11:02 am October 3, 2012 Permalink

    27 – I’m convinced.

  34. Sarcasm
    11:08 am October 3, 2012 Permalink

    Ah my two favorite things in a sports comment thread. The guy who says he has a reliable source and the guy who picks at everyone’s grammar.

  35. SoCal Will
    11:12 am October 3, 2012 Permalink

    Just told the wife I am knocking on every piece of wood here too….

  36. Grammar Police
    11:17 am October 3, 2012 Permalink

    #15- The problem isn’t the colon for the question mark, it is the actual sentence that makes no sense. How do you find a question? Would make much more sense, as we learn in the first grade, to ask “The question I have is…”

  37. kyboy415
    11:19 am October 3, 2012 Permalink

    If we don’t get the harrisons its not the end of the world.. but if wiggins reclassifies thats enough right there that kid is a beast.

  38. GoodStuff
    11:24 am October 3, 2012 Permalink

    What is with the Eastbay Under Armor Ad on the front page of the KSR webpage? Does that maen the Harrisons are going to UM?

  39. Billy
    11:30 am October 3, 2012 Permalink

    This is what the dad had to say about the Under Armour Offical talking to his sons

    “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.’

    Aren’t they not allowed to receive gifts?

  40. OLDFatcat
    11:43 am October 3, 2012 Permalink

    39- they are on a U/A sponsored AAU team. They can get it. No question. Our AAU soccer team kids get free Adidas gear all the time. They can pick what they like.

  41. Cat Daddy
    11:44 am October 3, 2012 Permalink

    #38- Ads on websites are tailored to the user based on browsing history. No doubt you’ve likely googled Maryland and Under Armour in looking at other sites for information on the twins. That’s why.

  42. Them
    11:45 am October 3, 2012 Permalink

    Harrison Sr. stated it will be a big surprise Thursday, does that mean SMU?

  43. Corey Nichols
    11:54 am October 3, 2012 Permalink

    36 – Your out of you’re element. Clearly their is no problem with using a cologne in that sentence, accept maybe it makes it longer. Of coarse, I take your concern as a complement, even if the point you elude to isn’t really rite. Its still better then using sentence fragments, though.

  44. coldspringmike
    12:11 pm October 3, 2012 Permalink

    I think they make everyone happy and split up. One to Maryland, one to Kentucky. They are not gonna play together in the NBA anyway, might as well get used to being on their own.

  45. Sean
    12:12 pm October 3, 2012 Permalink

    #43 Using cologne in that sentence? Nice….

  46. bluebloodtoo
    1:02 pm October 3, 2012 Permalink

    The only way I see all this conflicting information making sense is that the twins want to go to UK, but the dad wants them to go to UM. That’s why Turgeon is flying all the way out there today to try a last ditch effort to convince them to go where the dad wants them to go. That’s why the dad is always doing the talking and interjecting his distractions to UM, but when the kids do an interview everyone gets the idea that they are a UK lean. All the connections to UM and Turgeon are Dad’s. Those don’t matter as much to the kids.

  47. wildcatdon
    1:28 pm October 3, 2012 Permalink

    I just hope we get Aaron Gordon..If anyone has not seen him on youtube find a video and watch..He is awesome..Very active and very athletic..

  48. Linda Taylor
    5:10 pm October 3, 2012 Permalink

    Your, you’re, their, cologne, accept, coarse, complement, elude, rite, Its, then. Did I catch them all?

  49. Corey Nichols
    6:03 pm October 3, 2012 Permalink

    49 – Consider yourself the Pokemon master, because you did, in fact, catch them all.

  50. Linda Taylor
    10:30 pm October 3, 2012 Permalink

    36 – Please note the following definition of the word find (especially note numbers 3, 4 and 9):

    find (fnd)
    v. found (found), find·ing, finds
    1. To come upon, often by accident; meet with.
    2. To come upon or discover by searching or making an effort: found the leak in the pipe.
    3. To discover or ascertain through observation, experience, or study: found a solution; find the product of two numbers; found that it didn’t really matter.
    a. To perceive to be, after experience or consideration: found the gadget surprisingly useful; found the book entertaining.
    b. To experience or feel: found comfort in her smile.
    5. To recover (something lost): found her keys.
    6. To recover the use of; regain: found my voice and replied.
    7. To succeed in reaching; arrive at: The dart found its mark.
    8. To obtain or acquire by effort: found the money by economizing.
    9. To decide on and make a declaration about: The jury deliberated and found a verdict of guilty. All the jurors found him guilty.
    10. To furnish; supply.
    a. To bring (oneself) to an awareness of what one truly wishes to be and do in life.
    b. To perceive (oneself) to be in a specific place or condition: found herself at home that night; found himself drawn to the stranger.
    To come to a legal decision or verdict: The jury found for the defendant.
    1. The act of finding.
    2. Something that is found, especially an unexpectedly valuable discovery: The Rosetta stone was a providential archaeological find.
    Phrasal Verb:
    find out
    1. To ascertain (something), as through examination or inquiry: I found out the phone number by looking it up. If you’re not sure, find out.
    2. To detect the true nature or character of; expose: Liars risk being found out.
    3. To detect and apprehend; catch: Most embezzlers are found out in the end.

    So Grammar Police, The KSR jury finds you guilty of being an insufferable knowitall who does not know what you are talking about.