Andrew Harrison: more than a scorer

By Nick Gray | Sports Editor

For the past 12 months, the perception around recruiting circles and around the UK basketball program is that freshman guard Andrew Harrison is a better overall player than his twin brother, fellow freshman guard Aaron Harrison.

24/7 Sports rated Andrew Harrison as the third overall player in the Class of 2013, as ESPN, Scout and Rivals each ranked him fifth overall.

On the other hand, Aaron Harrison was ranked fifth in his class by 24/7 Sports, ninth by ESPN, sixth by Scout and seventh by Rivals.

The Harrisons’ UK teammates have noted the similarities and differences between the twins.

“What surprised me is how different their games are. They are similar, but they are much different. They’re both unique players,” junior guard Sam Malone said.

“They’re very quick and smart with the ball. Aaron likes to score the basketball and Andrew likes to tell people where they’re supposed to be on the floor,”  freshman guard James Young said. “Aaron is more of scorer and Andrew is a floor general.”

Aaron and Andrew Harrison were unable to enroll at UK before summer school due to finishing up their high school work. As a result, the UK basketball staff had not been able to watch or work with either player until August.

UK head coach John Calipari has seen enough to distinguish Aaron and Andrew Harrison as players, but not to distinguish their talent levels.

“I don’t know everything these kids can do yet, and that’s one of the reasons why I want to do pickup, controlled, coached five-on-five. So I can watch and see,” Calipari said.

He later said that both players could play either guard position. Andrew Harrison agrees with his coach.

“I know if I had to, I could switch (with Aaron). He could be good (at point guard) just like I can (at shooting guard),” Andrew Harrison said.

Andrew Harrison played point guard throughout his high school career, and is expected to start the point when the Cats play against the University of North Carolina Asheville on Nov. 8.

As a senior at Travis (Texas) High School, Andrew Harrison scored 15.8 points per game, while grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out seven assists per game.

Andrew and Aaron Harrison committed to UK on Oct. 4, selecting the Cats instead of home state schools Baylor University and Southern Methodist University, as well as the University of Maryland, where their father, Aaron Harrison Sr., attended college. Both players said they did not consider attending college separately.

Calipari addressed the Harrisons being together for so long.

“One of the things they’ll say is, ‘Why would you want to play with those two? They only play (together).’ Well, who started that myth? Everybody recruiting against us. So all of a sudden they fed that to media, they fed it to everybody. And they know it’s out there, they know that’s a myth,” Calipari said. “When you watch them, they don’t even hang together. Like, they’re not living in the same room together. They’ll have their own two or three guys (they hang) around. But, they have the same DNA.”

Related: Aaron Harrison: more than a creator