Posted: 5:00 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20, 2013
By James Streble
Andrew Harrison is the point guard in the most talented backcourt tandem in the country. Andrew, along with his identical twin Aaron, comprise the most coveted package deal in recent memory.
The Harrison's decision came down to three schools: Kentucky, Maryland and SMU. All of the experts had Kentucky and Maryland as the favorites for the brothers. The Harrison Twins' father had ties to Maryland and they played on an AAU team that was sponsored by Under Armour, the same apparel company that sponsors Maryland.
Even though Kentucky was seen as the frontrunners for the Twins from the start, many gave the late edge to the Terrapins due to the reasons that I previously mentioned. In front of a large crowd in their high school gym, accompanied by their parents, and featured on ESPN, Andrew and Aaron put all of the rumors to rest and chose the Wildcats.
The impact of their decision was huge on many fronts: John Calipari landed the number one point guard and the number one shooting guard in the country; he landed the fifth ranked player overall in Andrew and the number seven player in Aaron; he once again got the prototypical point guard for his offense and the next guy in line to succeed John Wall, Brandon Knight and Marquis Teague at Kentucky.
It was evident last season how important the point guard position is for John Calipari and his offense. The struggles of Ryan Harrow, personally and on the court, had a direct effect on how the season ultimately ended. A point guard at Kentucky not only needs to be supremely gifted physically, but he also has to be a leader on and off the court.
That leadership is a quality that Andrew has in spades. He is known as a relentless perfectionist that hates to lose. John Wall hated to lose; Brandon Knight hated to lose; Marquis Teague hated to lose. Harrison has the same killer instinct and attitude that made those three point guards so successful in their time in Lexington.
But along with the talent he brings with him, he also brings a lot of expectations. Kentucky fans are hungry to shake off the bad memories from last season and the rest of the nation looks at the Wildcats as the favorites to win the NCAA tournament this season. This redemption project and the quest for title number eight starts with John Calipari's elite point guard.
Height - 6'5
Weight - 205
Position - Point Gaurd
Recruiting Break Down*- #1 Point Guard; #5 player overall (according to Rivals)
Andrew can literally do it all. He is a great shooter, a great dribbler, a great driver and finisher and a great defender. But with all of his offensive ability, his number one asset is his ability to pass up a difficult shot to find an open teammate. He is a floor general in the truest sense of the word. His basketball IQ allows him to discern the right time to pass and the right time to take the shot or to drive to the rim. His size is also a major strength. He is much, much bigger than the average point guard and will be able to use his size to overpower his opponent on both sides of the ball. Andrew Harrison is one of the better players out of high school that Cal has brought to Kentucky due to all of his size and talent. But the intangibles of leadership and court intelligence will set him apart.
Andrew is a very good shooter but that is not the strength of his game. His strength lies in passing and decision making. Aaron is the better shooter of the two. So, if there is one thing to pick on as far as his game is concerned, it would be shooting. But it's not bad at all. His attitude has been called into question. This apparent attitude problem myth has already been debunked on one front. The Harrison Twins supposedly did not get along with Julius Randle. Well, they are teammates now and Randle chose to become a Wildcat after the Twins had already committed, so that took care of that. But if there is a bit of an attitude due to an ego then John Calipari is the perfect coach to handle that. After all, who has handled bigger stars than John Calipari?
Coach Calipari On Andrew Harrison:
"Andrew comes in ready to play physically at the point-guard position. He's a driver, slasher and playmaker with great size. He and his brother Aaron have the ability to be great on-ball defenders. "
Andrew Harrison is the starting point guard for the Kentucky Wildcats; no questions asked. I know that coach Cal likes to tell his recruits that nothing is guaranteed as far as starting, and most of the time he is 100% correct, but this is not the case with Andrew.
Now, that being said, he has to produce. Right now he, along with Julius Randle, is the man on the team. He will be looked at as a leader vocally and athletically. The team still needs to develop their ability to communicate on the floor, something that takes time for freshmen, and it will all start with Andrew Harrison.
John Calipari has his own high expectations for his star point guard and one of those expectations is defense. Cal realizes the size advantage he has with Andrew. And along with his size, he brings speed and quickness. He will be a nightmare match up for every guard that he will face this season, even those as talented as Keith Appling, Chris Jones and PJ Hairston.
Andrew will be the key for the Wildcats to live up to the hype and win a ninth national championship. Will he be one and done? More than likely he will be. So he should make the most of his year at Kentucky.
2012/2013 Recruit Mix Tape:
In the Next Preview: Aaron Harrison Brings Dead Eye Shooting and Lock Down Defending to Kentucky