With Harrisons secured, who’s next?



By Nick Jones & Tom Hurley | @Kernel_Nick @TomHurleyKernel

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Now that word is officially out that top-five recruits Andrew and Aaron Harrison are heading to Lexington, you can already place your bets on UK being labeled favorites for the 2014 NCAA national title.

Of course, any team with the best package deal backcourt in college basketball would instantly become number one contenders for a championship, but UK head coach John Calipari isn’t done with this recruitment class yet.

In fact, he’s just getting started.

Julius Randle, James Young, Andrew Wiggins, Marcus Lee and Aaron Gordon are just some of the big names Calipari is working on having join the Harrisons and Mt. Washington, Ky., forward Derek Willis in uniform at Rupp Arena next season.

Randle and Young have both visited campus in recent weeks, Wiggins and Lee will be in Lexington on Oct. 12 for Big Blue Madness, while Gordon is planning on making an official visit to UK in the coming weeks.

Young, the top 10 guard out of Rochester, Mich., shares the same position as Aaron Harrison, but his godfather believes the two can co-exist on the same team.

“Wherever he decides to go, he really wants to have a legitimate opportunity to win a national championship, Sean Mahone said to Ben Roberts of Lexington Herald-Leader’s Next Cats.

“He looks at (the Harrison twins) as giving him an opportunity to achieve one of his goals,” Mahone said.

“Because wherever he decides to go, he really wants to have a legitimate opportunity to win a national championship. And you can’t do that unless you have quality players around you.”

Although Young could likely move to a reserve role, he would likely have the same type of affect on the 2013-14 squad as UK all-time leader in games played Darius Miller had on the 2011-12 national championship team.

Randle’s recent decision to cut Duke and North Carolina from his list of potential schools came as a surprise to many recruiting observers

The two powerhouses were thought to be very much in contention for the Randle’s services, but after his recent successful official visit to UK for the Sept. 15 alumni game, he has scratched them from the radar.

With the 6-foot-9 power forward cutting his list to six, it is thought by many that UK has jumped out as the leader in his recruitment.

UK’s chances of acquiring the Plano, Texas, big-man may now have been boosted by Calipari’s ability to gain commitments from the top two guards in the 2013 class.

The Twins commitment should have no effect on current 2014 class member Andrew Wiggins decision to reclassify.

The Canadian forward is the top player in the country regardless of class and not even players as talented as the Harrison twins are likely to play a role in that decision.

However, if he were to make the jump to the 2013 class and pick UK, he would be the center piece of possibly the best recruiting class in college basketball history.

In fact, if this year’s team lead by Nerlens Noel, Alex Poythress and Archie Goodwin are able to give Calipari his second national title in as many years, the potential for a three-peat is definitely in the cards if Wiggins, Randle and Young join the Harrisons in 2013.

Related links:

Harrison twins to attend Big Blue Madness, father confirms

Double down: Harrison twins choose UK

Harrison decision vital for Terrapins not Cats

Double Trouble: Harrison twins could be UK’s next big tandem