Scout.com recruiting analyst Josh Gerson reported late Sunday night that Andrew and Aaron Harrison are planning to attend UK’s Big Blue Madness on Oct. 12.
“Aaron Harrison told me yesterday that he and his brother are planning on visiting Kentucky for Midnight Madness,” Gerson wrote on the KentuckyScout.com website.
Aaron Harrison Sr., the players’ father, told the Herald-Leader in a brief interview Monday morning that the family had not made a decision on any upcoming visits.
“We haven’t talked about madness,” he said.
Harrison Sr. said he discussed the Scout.com story with Aaron, who told him he didn’t recall committing to a Big Blue Madness visit.
“I have talked to Aaron about that,” Harrison Sr. said. “He said, ‘I don’t know what they’re talking about.’ And that was it.”
Harrison Sr. added that he was just arriving in Baltimore to visit an aunt who is very ill. He said the twins’ recruitment “is not something that we’re even dealing with, to be honest with you.”
If the Big Blue Madness visit does happen, it would be quite a switch on the part of the Harrisons.
Harrison Sr. told the Herald-Leader earlier this month that the twins would not be making any more visits to Kentucky. They’ve already been to Lexington twice, and Harrison Sr. said those two trips told him “all I need to know” about UK.
One of the visits was for last year’s Big Blue Madness, and the father said the whole family “really enjoyed” that experience.
Harrison Sr. also told the Herald-Leader that a visit to Maryland’s midnight madness, which is also Oct. 12, remained a possibility.
Kentucky and Maryland are the finalists for the Harrison twins, the top two guard prospects in the class of 2013.
ZagsBlog posted an article Saturday citing an anonymous source who said the two younger Harrisons wanted to pick Kentucky, while their father wanted them to choose Maryland. Harrison Sr., who is from Baltimore and has a close relationship with Terrapins coach Mark Turgeon, was also quick to dismiss that report.
“Aaron and Andrew haven’t made a decision, and I want whatever they want for themselves,” Harrison Sr. told InsideMDSports.com on Saturday night. “Whatever they want is what I want.”
Much is made of recruiting visits for high-profile events such as midnight madness, but that attention is often overblown. There have been plenty of recent instances of elite recruits visiting one school’s madness before ultimately committing elsewhere. Last year, highly touted center Dajuan Coleman attended Big Blue Madness just 11 days before his commitment to Syracuse.
But the Harrisons coming to Lexington on Oct. 12 would send a clear signal that UK should be considered the favorite in their recruitment. First, they’d be returning to Lexington for an event they’ve already attended.
They’d also be blowing off Maryland’s madness, an event that ESPN has previously reported they were “likely” to attend. There would still be plenty of time to arrange a visit to College Park before their expected Oct. 29 announcement date, but they wouldn’t get to see the school’s signature pre-season event.
For months, UK was seen as the clear leader in the Harrisons’ recruitment, but some recent comments from the family have led some fans and analysts to back off that stance. Skipping Maryland’s midnight madness for another trip to Lexington would be a sign that the original assessment was the correct one.
It could also be the final step toward a commitment that would be one of John Calipari’s biggest at Kentucky.
Gordon sets tentative date for UK visit
Gordon, who is rated by most services as a top-five recruit, visited Oregon over the weekend. The San Jose native is expected to visit Washington, which some consider the favorite, next weekend. He’ll be at Kansas for their midnight madness event Oct. 12. Arizona is also on his list of finalists.