Harrison twins' decision is must-see TV

broberts@herald-leader.comOctober 3, 2012 

  • Thursday

    Harrison twins college announcement

    When: 5 p.m. | TV: ESPNU

    Kentucky.com

    Listen to Herald-Leader recruiting writer Ben Roberts discuss the Harrison twins' recruitment in a podcast on John Clay's Sidelines blog.

Wherever they are at 5 p.m. Thursday, John Calipari and Mark Turgeon will have at least one thing in common.

They'll both be watching Andrew and Aaron Harrison announce their college destination.

Heading into the final day of one of the most talked about recruitments in recent years, the basketball coaches at UK and Maryland had another thing in common.

"Put this on everything that you got," said Aaron Harrison Sr., the players' father. "Nobody knows nothin'."

But Thursday, a decision will be made, and the answer will finally be revealed to Calipari, Turgeon and everyone else who has followed this recruitment.

And the twins have attracted quite a following.

Even basketball fans who don't normally keep up with recruiting have been caught up with the story of the Harrisons, five-star recruits from Houston, Texas who will start their college careers in 2013 with through-the-roof expect-ations.

Scout.com analyst Evan Daniels says the publicity is warranted.

"Anything Kentucky, nowadays, gets plenty of attention just because of their national reputation and the fan base," he said. "But I also think that this is an important recruitment. It's two top-three players. This is the best package deal I've seen since I've been covering recruiting."

UK has the prestige: The defending national champion with the coach that always seems to land the recruits he wants and teaches a style of play that young guards love.

Maryland has the connections: Under Armour's flagship institution, located near Harrison Sr.'s hometown of Baltimore and led by a coach who the father called "the most upright citizen" he'd met in basketball.

Southern Methodist, now coached by Larry Brown, is also a finalist, but the Mustangs are considered an extreme long shot.

It'll be the Wildcats or the Terrapins.

Daniels dismissed the theory that Under Armour, the apparel company that outfits Maryland and the Harrisons' AAU team, would be a deciding factor.

"I think the Under Armour stuff is a sexy headline and a sexy story, but I don't think it's the real story of the Harrison twins' recruitment," he said.

At times, the story has been Harrison Sr., who's been quick to contradict published reports and has occasionally given out information that conflicts with his sons'.

The father acknowledges his public role in the recruitment. But he also says he hasn't tried to sway their decision.

"I know everybody thinks, 'He's the dad that's hands on with everything.' Well, I'm hands on because they're my babies," Harrison Sr. said. "I'm going to try to make them as successful as I can possibly make them. ... But they are very level-headed. They will be able to make a decision on their own."

Ben Roberts: (859) 231-3216. Twitter: @NextCats. Blog: ukrecruiting.bloginky.com.

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