UK Basketball: Harrison twins pick Kentucky over Maryland
Marian Harrison, right, gives a thumbs up after her twin sons Aaron and Andrew Harrison, center, announced they will attend Kentucky next year as they are joined by their father Aaron Harrison, left, Thursday in Richmond, Texas. The twins picked UK over Maryland. (AP Photo / October 5, 2012)
The twins from Richmond, Texas, are ranked as two of the top five players in the nation and position Kentucky nicely to have another No. 1 recruiting class as well as the nation’s top backcourt in the 2013-14 season no matter what guards return from this year’s team.
“Andrew's ability to run a team, but also put points on the board is impressive. His size, strength, athleticism, ability to get in the lane and dish out the rock are all top notch. I expect Andrew to be even better when he has more talent around him,” said Scout.com national recruiting analyst Evan Daniels.
“Aaron is a sensational scorer, perhaps even the best overall scorer in the country. He can put up points from every level and the range on his jump shot is deep. His strength and athleticism going towards the rim help him in the scoring department as well.”
The twins had originally intended to make their college choice later this month but moved the decision up and now likely will also attend UK’s Big Blue Madness on Oct. 12 along with other big-time recruits, including Huntington (W.Va.) Prep’s Andrew Wiggins and center Marcus Lee of California.
The Harrisons, both 6-5, led their school to a 36-4 record and the Texas Class AAAAA championship game last year. Aaron, a two guard, averaged 18.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists while Andrew, a point guard, averaged 12.1 points, six assists, five rebounds and two steals last season.
“Any time you have two top five players in the nation going to the same school it's significant. Especially twins because they have a great chemistry between them both on and off the floor,” Paul Biancardi, ESPN basketball national director of recruiting, said after the live announcement on ESPNU. “Other players will now look at that program and decide if they want to join them or not. It helps define the landscape of other recruits a little more.”
That’s significant for Kentucky because one other top player, James Young, took an official visit to UK¿last week and is considered a Kentucky lean and possible early commit by many recruiting analysts. Texas power forward Julius Randle recently cut his list of schools to six and included Kentucky, but not Duke or North Carolina — the teams some felt would offer the most competition to UK¿for his commitment.
“For Kentucky, getting the Harrison twins certainly can't hurt recruiting. They are also in the mix with a handful of elite guys — Julius Randle, Andrew Wiggins, James Young, Marcus Lee and others. The Harrison's were always going to do this on their time. I think they were just ready to have the process over with,” Daniels said.
Craig Brownson, who coaches the Harrisons at Travis High School, says the twin guards are more than just good players, too.
“They are very humble, very thankful for what position they have been put in,” the coach said. “They are just regular kids. They just want to fit in with the rest of the school. For kids so highly touted and to get so much attention, they truly just want to be part of our team. They don’t expect special treatment or anything. They bring everybody’s level up in practice because they work so hard. They make all our players raise their game, and that’s great for us.
“On the court, they are very multi dimensional. They both have the ability to put the ball on the floor. Both can play the point. Aaron is the more consistent shooter, Andrew the better passer. They fit into those roles very well. Andrew traditionally has been the point guard, Aaron the shooting guard. But Aaron can bring the ball up the court and Andrew can run the wing, catch the ball and get by and move to the basket and knock down a 3. They have all the necessary skills to play where they want on the court.”