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

Aaron Harrison looking for ‘winning program’

By Tom Hurley

One’s a shooting guard, one plays the point. One likes Nike, the other prefers Under Armour. One likes LeBron, the other, Kobe. They may be different people, each with their own personalities and interests, but Aaron and Andrew Harrison will very much be as one on Oct. 29 when they announce where they will both play college basketball.

“We’re definitely going to the same school,” Aaron said.

The 6-foot-5, 205-pound shooting guard and his equally imposing younger brother Andrew – younger by one minute, to be precise – have left coaches across the nation praying it is their school’s name that comes out of the brother’s lips when they commit.

“It’s pretty even right now,” Aaron said when asked if the twins had worked out which schools are on their list —  which includes Maryland, SMU, Baylor, Villanova and UK.

What is he looking for when it comes to making that decision?

“Just a winning program, a program that fits my game, our style of game and a coach that wants to get me to the next level,” he said.

It’s fair to say that UK has a program and coach who certainly fit that description.

“He’s a great coach,” said the Richmond, Texas native of reigning national champion coach John Calipari.

“He puts a lot of players in the NBA,” Harrison said. “I know that he’s one of the more real coaches out there, he’ll tell you what’s real and that’s what I like about him and the rest of the staff as well. They don’t really tell you what you wanna know, they tell you what it’s like at their school and what they need you for – and that you’ll need to work hard when you get there.”

UK fans would certainly enjoy watching the brotherly guard combo in action if they do end up calling Rupp Arena home during the 2013-14 season.

Aaron is an outstanding shooter, particularly from three-point territory. He is virtually unstoppable when he drives towards the bucket, powering his athletic frame past defenders with ease. But, putting up numbers for the sake of putting up numbers doesn’t interest him; he plays to win and that shows with his commitment to get back on defense and play hard on both ends of the court.

Both he and brother Andrew are fierce competitors who will give whichever school they choose one of the best package deals perhaps ever seen at the college level.

Cats fans can catch their own glimpse of both Aaron and Andrew Saturday evening when the twins take part in the Under Armour Elite 24 game, televised live on ESPN.

“It’s always fun to get out there and play the best players in the country, you just gotta go out there and have fun.” Aaron said, on the Venice Beach, California event.

“I mean you always wanna win, so (I want to) just go out there and win and have fun.”

It remains to be seen which school the twins will commit to on Oct. 29, but we at least know why the announcement won’t come as Aaron is blowing out the candles on his birthday cake.

“Our birthday’s Oct. 28, but it’s a Sunday.”

Andrew Harrison praises Calipari and UK staff

By Nick Jones

Coming off of a long summer of playing constant high-level basketball, Aaron and Andrew Harrison, also known as the ‘Harrison Twins’, took some time off from basketball to vacation in New York.

“We went with our grandparents. We had a nice time and just chilled and relaxed,” Andrew said. “It was nice to just get away from everything.”

After living under the pressure of being such a highly touted prospect since 8th grade, a break is well deserved. As the summer winds down and school gets back into session, Andrew still thinks about the loss in last years State Championship. “We are definitely going to win that,” he said, referring to that elusive state title.

Championships aren’t just something he is looking forward to in this upcoming season, but for many years to come. Andrew said he already has his eyes on a national title in the college ranks.

Although he hasn’t talked to many guys about the hyped up idea of a ‘super class’ at a school like UK, he said, “Playing with good players at any school would be fun, but I really don’t try to talk to guys too much because I don’t even know where I’m going yet.”

But don’t let that mislead you, the 6-foot-5, 205-pound point guard is especially interested in UK. Harrison had nothing but praise for Coach Calipari and the rest of the staff at Kentucky.

“He’s great, and Coach (Kenny) Payne too. They are really honest guys and tell me what I need to work on and tell me that I would have to come in there and compete for minutes.”

In a list that includes Baylor, Kentucky, Maryland, SMU and Villanova, Andrew claims “there is no order.”

However, the point guard goes on to say that, “(UK) is in my top 3 or 4, so the are definitely up there.” “Great coaches, the right system and good basketball tradition” are what Andrew said he is looking for in the program he will ultimately choose.

The elite point guard has been labeled by many people as arrogant, something he is keen to set the record straight on.

“Most people say I’m arrogant or whatever based on how I am on the court, but off the court I’m just a normal guy. I don’t try to act arrogant or big-time or whatever, so really I don’t like when people say that about me. But, it is what it is,” he said.

Andrew is a consensus top five recruit who plays with an edge on the court. Idolizing former Calipari player Derrick Rose, Andrew could be the next in a long line of successful point guards for the UK coach.

Being 6-foot-5, Andrew has elite size for his position, and is a creative passer with great speed and athleticism. All of these physical traits combined with his will to win and extreme competitive nature make him a ‘must have’ prospect in what is considered to be a very strong 2013 class.

All the schools that are still being considered for his services will be sure to wish Andrew and brother Aaron a very happy birthday on Oct. 28. The day after the package deal turns 18, they will end the recruiting process and announce which school they will attend for the 2013-14 season.