Andrew and Aaron Harrison dazzled a near-capacity crowd at Baltimore City Community Collegeon Monday night, leading their Houston Defenders AAU team to a 79-66 win over Nike Baltimore Elite.
Andrew, the No. 3 overall prospect and No. 1 point guard in the class of 2013, finished with 14 points. And Aaron, the No. 8 overall recruit and No. 2 shooting guard, had a game-high 35 points and a game-high seven assists. The twins plan to attend the same college, and have listed Maryland, Kentucky, Southern Methodist, Villanova and Baylor as their final schools.
I wrote a recap of Monday’s game, but still have some thoughts worth sharing.
The Harrisons maintain they’re currently considering four or five colleges. Aaron consistently lists Kentucky, Maryland, Baylor and Villanova, while Andrew tacks on Southern Methodist.
However, I couldn’t help but notice that both Aaron and Andrew listed Kentucky and Maryland first when asked to name their potential destinations Monday. They’ve followed this pattern in every other interview I’ve seen from them on the Internet.
Am I overthinking this? Maybe. But I have a strong feeling this is a two-dog race.
Kentucky makes sense for the twins for all the obvious reasons. It is a virtual factory for one-and-done prospects — which Andrew and Aaron both are — and would easily be a top contender for a national title with the Harrisons in Lexington.
Maryland, on the other hand, has several strong connections with the Harrisons that could tip the scales in their favor. Their father and AAU coach, Aaron Harrison, Sr., is from Baltimore and is close friends with assistant coach Bino Ranson. The twins still have a considerable amount of extended family in the Baltimore area, and their friend and former Defenders teammate Shaquille Cleare figures to be an impact player on the Terps as a freshman this year.
“It’s great,” said Aaron Harrison, who will make a joint college announcement with his brother on Oct. 28 (their 18th birthday). “My family’s down here, Shaquille Cleare, he played on my team last year, he’s down there.”
Aaron Harrison, Sr., hasn’t been shy about his fondness for Maryland coach Mark Turgeon. He’s said he feels the Kansas native is a quality, genuine man who he’d entrust with his two only children. After Monday night’s game, he shared a story that explained the root of those feelings.
In May 2010, when Andrew and Aaron were high school freshmen, Tobi Oyedji — a standout at nearby Bellaire High School — died from injuries sustained in a car accident. He was committed to Turgeon at Texas A&M.
The elder Harrison said Turgeon “did some things that was above and beyond the call of duty as a man” after the incident, and he felt compelled to contact him. He may have been referring to a series of tweets asking Aggies fans to pray for Oyedji and his parents.
“I like what you did,” he remembered telling Turgeon, who wasn’t recruiting the Harrisons at the time. “I want to send my kids some place where I can trust the man.”
The Harrisons have received a considerable amount of criticism for their on-court personas the past couple years. They’ve been called cocky, immature and petulant. On Monday night, all three of those adjectives would’ve accurately described Andrew and Aaron. Both twins rolled their eyes and shook their heads nearly every time a play didn’t go their way. In fact, they seemed annoyed almost the entire game. They walked slowly to the sidelines for timeouts, and rarely encouraged their teammates.
Andrew was called for a technical foul midway through the second quarter for trash talking Baltimore guard Daxter Miles, and seemed on the verge of a physical confrontation with a couple Elite players near the end of the game. He also yelled expletives several times after missing free throws.
Kameron Williams, who led the Baltimore Catholic League in scoring last season, has slowly been accumulating high-major offers. The Mount St. Joseph guard claims scholarships from Clemson, Miami and Marquette, among others, but has yet to land an offer from the home-state Terps.
Williams said he hopes Maryland will be more of a factor when he makes a college decision in September or early October.
“I’m still pretty open,” said Williams, who had 16 points Monday. “They have expressed a little bit of interest, and yeah, you could say I’m waiting.”