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Please don’t count John Calipari and Kentucky out of the race for the Harrison twins

Oct 3, 2012, 10:31 AM EDT

John Calipari

Yesterday, NBCSports.com took a look at the recruitment of the Harrison twins, Aaron and Andrew, and the possible connections that could land them at Maryland when they announce their decision Thursday evening.

But what about the other horse in the race for their commitment? If we have learned anything, it’s not to bet against John Calipari and the Kentucky Wildcats.

Maryland might have deep connections from Texas, close ties to the family, a geographic advantage, and the Under Armour card in its back pocket, but the defending national champions have ruled the recruiting world since Calipari took over in Lexington.

The fact of the matter is, aside from Shabazz Muhammad, the Calipari we’ve come to know at Kentucky has never lost out on a prospect that he truly wanted. If a top prospect hears Kentucky calling, he usually answers with a verbal commitment.

Say what you will and allege what you will about Calipari’s behind-the-scenes recruiting tactics, but there’s plenty to legitimize the flood of recruiting heading to Calipari’s program.

Plainly put, Calipari and Kentucky turn the nation’s best players into NBA first-rounders.

Don’t believe it? Ask John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Terrence Jones, Eric Bledsoe, and the list goes on.

The same way that the country’s top students flock to the Wharton Business School because it’s almost a guaranteed ticket into their desired field, Calipari is now running the equivalent in basketball.

And that’s the draw for the Harrison twins.

Under Armour aside, personal relationships dismissed, Calipari would give the twins an opportunity to be surrounded by some of the country’s best talent for (if all goes as likely planned) one season, compete for a national title, and be NBA lottery picks.

Perhaps that can pull harder than anything Mark Turgeon could do at Maryland.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

  1. imforbigblue - Oct 3, 2012 at 11:31 AM

    As much as I would like to belive that I’m sure under armor has already promised daddy a big pay day if he sends his sons to Maryland for basketball. I mean come on daddy himself said he changed the boys number so nobody can call them besides under armor officials so if that isn’t shady what is??

  2. rockthered1286 - Oct 3, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    Really @bigblue? You’re going to accuse UA of shady under the table dealings? Have you met your coach?

    Also we need to take the “lottery pick” out of the equation. Skill is skill regardless of where you go. They’ll be lottery picks no matter which college they choose.

  3. wildcatvikingsguy - Oct 3, 2012 at 12:48 PM

    I agree, they will be lottery picks no matter what. That is more important for kids not ranked as high. The thing I don’t get, between these 2 and shabbaz, is that they can’t be sponsored until the MBA anyways, so who cares if they play one year for a school with different apparel, they can’t be sponsored anyways?

  4. maynardstool - Oct 3, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    It’s important because of one man that has a history of funneling kids to Nike schools. Just three initials. WWW.

    Its important because the majority of kids funneled to Nike schools sign with Nike after college.

    Sure you have guys like Wall and D-Rose that go their own way, but like in Roses case, Adidas threw just a stupid amount of money at him.

    It’s obvious that UA wants to play with the big boys, so it wouldn’t surprise me if they were willing to do whatever it takes.

    Coach Cal, however, would the last person to shed tears over in the recruiting game.

  5. gatordontplay - Oct 3, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    Seeing this guys at the Texas state tournament these guys are extremely talented but I wouldn’t want them on my team.. Starting with the rumors of uk and uA also potential deals with oak hill.. On the court their composure and attitudes where terrible.. They have some incidents before with fighting with their teammates.

  6. gatordontplay - Oct 3, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    Rock you apparently haven’t been on this site long.. Blueballs likes to tell people how superior uk and cal is and talk about how everyone’s shit stink but uk and cal is So clean.. This guys probably in his 30’s living with he’s crack whore mother with the maturity of a 10 year old

  7. maynardstool - Oct 3, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    Most 10 year olds I know are much smarter than your average uk “fan”. Far less delusional as well.

  8. gatordontplay - Oct 3, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    They’re a lot of intelligent and passionate uk fans. Which is great for college basketball because theres not enough true basketball fan bases as football runs everything. I wouldn’t let a few ignorant uneducated dumb asses like igotblueballs make an overall judgement on the fan base.. Believe it or not they’re actually uk fans scared of cal’s potential NCAA sanctions on the school

  9. jaxhotspur11 - Oct 3, 2012 at 5:21 PM

    Here’s how it works with Calipari: Calipari comes to school. School gets great players. School wins many games and goes to Final 4. Calipari leaves. School goes on probation. Just an observation…

  10. cranespy - Oct 3, 2012 at 6:22 PM

    ……tick tock…..that sound you hear is that sound you hear on the 60 minutes intro…..and it is ticking away on Cal’s tenure in the Bluegrass state. Search your hearts UK fans…you are riding high right now….with Cal’s recruiting acumen you should win a few more titles….but it will END and it will NOT END WELL….

  11. imforbigblue - Oct 3, 2012 at 7:15 PM

    It’s OK to be mad and pray everyday that UK does something bad because aslong as Cal is at UK all your teams are fighting is for is left overs of what UK doesn’t want lol

  12. bhorn1240 - Oct 3, 2012 at 11:18 PM

    With the right players and some luck….#9 is in sight. GO CATS!!!

  13. bradg631 - Oct 4, 2012 at 8:24 AM

    Jealousy is so ugly…

  14. wildcatvikingsguy - Oct 4, 2012 at 11:16 AM

    Once again, people who only use hearsay as evidence. Cal turned camby in, and only let rose play AFTER the NCAA cleared him to play. Why would he not play rose after he was cleared? And why wouldn’t the nations top players want to play for cal, he gets them to the nba. You can’t cheat your way into the draft.

  15. gatordontplay - Oct 4, 2012 at 12:06 PM

    Ive never said cal was a cheater. The only remark I have made was the cal’s not clean like every other coach in high d-1 schools cause imforbigblueballsinmymouth likes to cal unc ucla and duke cheaters but thinks that cal is a purest.. I’m fine with the players uk recruits. If you guys want the Harrison twins then good luck.. I’m fine with what old Roy is bringing to unc.. I’m not a big fan of guys being 1 and done so i like that we have guys to develop for 2 or 3 years.. I don’t see uk more superior than the other top 10 programs in the nation.. So when ever cal gets the balls to play unc again I’m ready..
    Skol bitches im out

  16. florida727 - Oct 4, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    I want to say it was a month or two ago, but I watched a video online that was a tour of the Kentucky basketball facility, hosted by Calipari. After watching that video, heck, even I didn’t hate Kentucky anymore, and I’m from Florida for cryin’ out loud :)

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