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What does it all mean?

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.

For Calipari:

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.

For Fans:

It means we’re spoiled rotten.  Srsly.  I understand why people hate us.  This is ridiculous.

For Maryland:

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.

Article written by Corey Nichols

39 Comments for What does it all mean?



  1. Buckwild
    9:05 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    Tubby a “phenomenal coach”? Wow!



  2. Rambo
    9:39 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    Wonder twins activate! The form of a National Championship Ring! The form of an undefeated season!



  3. m4ff3w
    9:45 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    Harrison Twins can’t help UK get to the Final Four in 2013, only 2014.



  4. Ryan
    9:47 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    Its so good to be a Wildcat!!!! biggest catch of all time… Attention Wal-mart shoppers we have a 2 for 1 special on the greatest recruiting package ever



  5. SteveM
    9:50 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    #1 you got it right. Young Mr. Nichols obviously doen’t know what he is speaking about. Ask Minnesota if they think Tubby’s a “phenonomal coach”.



  6. Bob Sugar
    9:51 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    1. Stop calling landing a recruit, “getting him.” It’s downright creepy. These players made an important life decision not what appetizer I got at Applebee’s.
    2. Nice try classifying Tubby as a phenomenal coach. He won with another coach’s players, managed an unacceptable 10 loss a year habit, and either underachieved or was vastly overrated in the final 8 years he was here.
    3. The Harrison’s father watched his sons make the best decision they could possibly make yesterday. Their positions will open next year. Cal’s formula is now a theorem as it has been proven the last five years. To classify him as anything but ecstatic for his sons’ decision is an insult.



  7. Jezz
    9:52 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    Billy Donovan is not bakcing down. He’s going hard after Jabari Parker and was with him in Chicago yesterday. FLorida is the only other school who’s got 2 top 10 players in 2013.

    The fact that Cal is really not going after Parker tells me Wiggins is most likely reclassifying.



  8. RYNO
    9:54 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    Go back and read the comments from the post where you put out those Tweets from that USA Today reporter. It’s comical how little confidence some “fans” had in John Calipari. All of you who doubted- EAT YOUR WORDS



  9. Wildcats Dominate
    9:57 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    “Rasa bracka fracken”. Nice. Is that a Home Alone reference?



  10. mlvei
    10:01 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    Cal offers these kids something they can’t get elsewhere. A NBA style boot camp, the best and most involved fan base in basketball, a no-bs attitude about their abilities, play with the best (just like the NBA). The best track record with NBA recruits recently and continued interest for former players AFTER they leave the university. If you are, or think you are, the best, why not want to come here?



  11. Rockfield, KY
    10:05 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    Imagine if we get Randle, Wiggins, and Young and then Florida picks up Parker. Those games will have every NBA scout imaginable there and would be the most exciting games of the NCAA season. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9 players in America on one court.



  12. Turner the Burner
    10:22 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    6 – Please stop the whole Tubby won with other players…. It is not that easy… Ask John L. Smith at Arkansas



  13. Dave in Bangkok
    10:28 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    Tubby? Phenomenal? Coach?

    Ask Minnesota?

    Tubby was phenomenally lucky and a phenomenal turd.

    Phenomenal coach, my aZZ! Get the f*ck out of her!!! lol

    I can’t believe people are still trying to sell that snake oil.



  14. Dave in Bangkok
    10:29 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    e



  15. Big Blue B-Rad
    10:32 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    12) Thank you for repeating what I’ve said to my friends for years! Or better yet, let’s ask whoever the interim coach for the Saints has been how easy it is to win with other players.



  16. Eric K
    10:35 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    BBN enjoy the ride! IN CAL WE TRUST!! GO CATS!!



  17. Shake n' Bake
    10:54 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    I’m so excited about the Harrison Twins that it’s like I’m all jacked up on Mountain Dew.



  18. jbone
    10:55 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    If the laws of mathematics hold true, I think this year’s team has a better shot at trying for 3 final fours in a row than next years team…



  19. RealCatsFan
    10:55 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    I resent the comparison of UK basketball to USC football. Lane Kiffin should never be mentioned in the same breath as John Calipari.



  20. barn
    10:57 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    12&15–i think we’re talking basketball here. football’s a little more complicated with about 15 times more players on the roster, and a staff of coaches who are all directly involved with the action on the field during every game. apples and oranges.



  21. Rixter
    10:59 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    Kevin Stallings is still sobbing uncontrollably over winning the SEC Tournament



  22. Litig8tr
    11:01 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    Tubby didn’t recruit the top players because he never knew who they were and he was just too lazy. I can’t believe that people are still drinking the Tubby Kool-Aid. Apart from 1998 (yes, with Rick’s players) Tubby’s entire career has been mediocre at best.



  23. UKman54
    11:29 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    Why is it that if the Harrison twins stay 4 years it’s irrelevant, no news outlet has even focused on that Gigantic statement made by Andrew! He’s the 1st Cal recruit to say that at a press conference. Think we’d be stacked at 1 and 2 for 4 WHOLE YEARS!! That’s what excited me more than anything!! What about that??



  24. SCCat
    11:34 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    Wasn’t Rondo a big recruit, along with Bogans and even though he wasn’t the best to pan out, Randolph Morris? Also, wasn’t Tayshaun?

    It’s a great time to be a CAT fan – and it’s ALWAYS been a great time to be a CAT fan. Tubbs was a great coach, a better individual, and we as a fan base should honor him and his contribution to our program. Many of you salute Joe B. as he joins us in the stands and he had a similar career as Orlando at the helm of the CATS.

    Hang a Tubby Smith jersey in the rafters, and rejoice. It’s a good day today for all of us, and Tubbs sailed the ship home for number 7, even if you think that was an “easy” thing to navigate. (as an aside i’ll leave you with this – UNC had a flat squad that year and UTAH made them look silly in the final 8. it can happen to anyone. BUT, it didn’t happen to Tubbs, and he outcoached a good coach K team in my favorite game ever on the way to the title).

    Peace.



  25. anthonydavisarmpit
    11:35 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    23) That’s a sweet dream your having. Please never wake up. All players say that because they aren’t guaranteed to be one and done. Cal will push them out the door after next season if it is the best thing for them.



  26. Duke Sucks
    12:00 pm October 5, 2012 Permalink

    #12 I’m a card carrying Tubby Basher. I think he tanked our program. He not BCG put the program to the low we reached. That said to say Tubby didn’t win a NC because they where Pitino’s player is crazy. Tubby did a great job in 1998 and really showed Coach K up( Duke out of time outs.)
    If you want to say Tubby had to coach that team different then his others because of what Pitino left I’ll take that. But Tubby is the man who won the title in 1998. Tubby did plenty to hate on him over. Just don’t talk foolishness though it make you look foolish.



  27. Duke Sucks
    12:04 pm October 5, 2012 Permalink

    #25 we just got them and some are already talking craziness. 1 year and their gone and rightfully so. Collage is to get you ready for your chosen career path, not to get a piece of paper that says degree.



  28. theSkinny81
    12:04 pm October 5, 2012 Permalink

    23 – in other news, if you put a baby tooth under your pillow at night, an actual fairy comes and breaks into your house, reaches under your pillow and takes the tooth, leaving small change behind in return. believe THAT!



  29. All my t-shirts say UK
    12:34 pm October 5, 2012 Permalink

    Mr. Nichols, I agree with literally everything you say (here, and in general on this site). Thank you for being literate.

    To the Tubby haters, there are plenty of points to make against you, but here’s my favorite: you don’t like Tubby because you’re racist hilljacks. He was a good coach, albeit not as good at Pitino, so he looked bad in comparison.



  30. UKGrad04
    12:42 pm October 5, 2012 Permalink

    You’re getting better, Corey. But a northerly wind out of Gainesville would be felt in Tampa, not here. Winds are named for the direction they blow from, not the direction they blow to. And, like GI JOE, now you know.



  31. ransmith
    12:47 pm October 5, 2012 Permalink

    Shabazz was not a fluke! He is a just a high profile one that UK wanted real bad, and it came down to the end and he selected UCLA. There are others that UK were never seriously in the race and are eliminated that we just don’t know or think about.

    No matter how good you are, you don’t get everyone you want. But the really good ones, get their fair share and the “COMBINATION” of Cal & UK is one of the best.



  32. Ratchet
    12:48 pm October 5, 2012 Permalink

    “duke sucks” it’s COLLEGE. not collage. Also tubby won a very high % of games and brought in some great players. He wasn’t the coach Cal is but he was a good man, good coach and did no harm to the program. Bash BCG, Eddie Sutton or that slime ball, sellout, abortion funding piece of shit Pitino. Tubby Smith was a fine man.



  33. Kevin C.
    1:55 pm October 5, 2012 Permalink

    “… 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..”

    That makes ZERO sense. Keep trying, Corey…maybe someday you’ll get lucky and write something of substance and quality.



  34. Dave Ball
    2:10 pm October 5, 2012 Permalink

    hmmm…wonder how good Memphis would have been had D.Rose been a twin…Randle and Young to UK, J.Parker to Duke, N.Vonleh to UNC, A.Wiggins reclassifies to 2013 and inks with UK…Kennedy Meeks decides he too wants to join the madness and attends UK as well…Noel, Poythress, Goodwin, Harrow, and Mays all move on after this year…and Kyle Wiltjer has the unique experience of winning three national championships before his senior year, with three completely different teams….and at some point, Bobby Knight (after UK has a sparkling APR and graduation rate) buckles to reality and recognizes Coach Cal as the best coach in college hoops….

    and Shabazz was always going to play for an Adidas school…Cal didn’t lose to Ben Howland, he lost out to a shoe company…

    and anyone bad mouthing Tubby should ask Coach K how it felt to be outcoached in the 98 elite 8 (call a timeout Coach K…oh wait…you don’t have any…ha)



  35. plastic turgeon
    3:00 pm October 5, 2012 Permalink

    hey corey, you are getting better. don’t let these guys nit-pick you to death.



  36. barn
    4:56 pm October 5, 2012 Permalink

    32–tubby did no harm to the program??



  37. Joe Biden's Brain
    4:58 pm October 5, 2012 Permalink

    If Harrison, Sr. needs to be “won over”, there’s no entity on the planet more qualified for that task than the Big Blue Nation.



  38. steve
    5:50 pm October 5, 2012 Permalink

    tubby went after a lot of star recruits and got them. unfortunately some of them did not excel at uk. randolph morris and marvin stone were mcdonalds that did’nt reach their predicted stardom. jason parker was a total waste of talent at uk and kaleena left early. joe crawford was a mcdonalds also along with rondo and prince. and yes keith bogans is something like in the top five all time scorers in uk history. ramaal bradley was a pretty good pick up and correct me if i’m wrong but wasn’t michael bradley recruited by tubby? marquis estill could have come back as a graduate student but chose not to and thus cost us a valuable scoring threat and big body under the the goal. all this being said i wonder if tubby was extremely unlucky or did not handle the talent he got once they made it on the court very well. but regarging your statement that tubby did not go after high level recruits is totally absurb.



  39. don
    8:20 pm October 5, 2012 Permalink

    I think Tubby was,is a good coach for the style he plays, It is just not the style that wins as consistantly as Cal’s. I think Cal’s style and personality is what really wins recruits over. Lets face it, Kentucky is at the top again because of this great coach. I saw it when We played his Massauchusetts team in 92. This is the coach I wanted for Kentucky when we hired Gillespy, thank goodness we now have him. This era could be as great as Wooden’s was at UCLA.