Well, we’re fifteen hours removed from one of the most glorious recruiting announcements the nation has ever seen this week, and the magnitude just now starting to set in. I think I started every conversation last night with “How about them Harrisons?!” and it was pretty great. Even the lady at Applebee’s was excited about it.
But the morning after is always a time to reflect, or so I’ve heard, and after such an important commitment it’s important to think about just what this decisions means to all those involved.
For Kentucky Basketball:
The Harrisons’ commitment to Kentucky does exactly one thing for the basketball program: maintains an impossibly high standard of success. No one was surprised with their commitment, and that in itself is a little shocking. The 3-year streak of Final Fours in the 90’s was unreal, and the Harrisons are doing their part to make another go at it in 2013. For Kentucky basketball, this is just a reinforcement that we got the right guy, who gets the right players.
Speaking of the right guy, this may say more about him than it does about anyone else. We discussed all week (along with others) just how stacked against him the odds were in this one. Maryland had everything going for it, but it still wasn’t enough to keep Cal from two guys he really wanted. If a few people had some doubts after Shabazz went to UCLA, thinking that maybe his abilities were waning, or at least capped, they were proven wrong. Shabazz was at worst a fluke, and at best a target Cal decided he didn’t really want. Either way, the Harrisons serve as evidence that Cal can get anyone, anywhere, anytime. Yesterday’s commitment, in addition to being a foundational block of possibly one of the best classes ever, was a testament to Calipari. Coaches should be scared of the twins, but they’ll only be around a year (probably); they can continue to be terrified of Cal, because he’ll stick around for a while.
It means we’re spoiled rotten. Srsly. I understand why people hate us. This is ridiculous.
Unfortunately, Maryland gets the “Honorable Mention” award from last night’s proceedings. There are no moral victories in recruiting; as a wise man once said, “If you ain’t first, you’re last.” While that’s not entirely true (you can be second, or third, or fourth… heck even fifth), the Terps have got to be feeling a little down in the dumps this morning. Something good that it does mean, though, is that Turgeon isn’t afraid to go after premier guys, even if he misses. One of the more frustrating aspects about Tubby, even though he was a phenomenal coach, was that he didn’t even try to recruit the top guys. Turgeon had a swing and a miss, sure, but as all those little league parents like to point out, it was a nice cut.
For SEC Coaches:
For other league coaches, it’s stopped being funny. I imagine many of them are pacing in their living rooms or offices (or elaborate torture dungeons, in Frank Martin’s case) muttering “Rasa bracka fracken…” under their breath. I also think I heard an “Oh, come on!” on a northerly wind out of Gainesville.
For Aaron Harrison, Sr.:
It means his little boys are growing up. It looked like he was a little less than thrilled with the decision, which is understandable as a Maryland guy. Imagine if your son played football and committed to Southern Cal. But his boys made a decision, and even if he wasn’t happy about it, this shows that he respects them enough to let them make it. We’ll see you around the home games, sir. And maybe a Final Four game or two. Those are fun, trust us.
For the Harrison twins:
Simply put, it means they’re ready. For hard work, for attention, for improving themselves, they’re prepared to come to college basketball’s biggest stage in order to get better. They’re also ready to win. Whether or not they’ll stick around four years like Andrew mentioned is irrelevant for next year, where Kentucky will look to again start the season in the Top 5. The Harrisons are ready for the spotlight, and all the frustrations and rewards that come with it.
And we’re ready to welcome them.