Well, that sucks.
Aaron and Andrew Harrison, identical twins and consensus top five college basketball recruits in the class of 2013, announced their commitment to the University of Kentucky at a press event on ESPNU earlier today. The Harrisons represented one of the most highly touted recruiting battles in Maryland sports history, a blockbuster opportunity for head coach Mark Turgeon to get some of the nation's top talent into College Park.
The recruitment for the Harrison twins has been a long, emotional roller coaster that actually goes back to former head coach Gary Williams, who was recruiting them prior to his retirement in 2011. Bino Ranson, the only assistant who carried over from Gary Williams staff to Mark Turgeon's, was the main recruiter for the Harrisons during the Gary Williams era. But when Mark Turgeon was hired, he too was extremely active in the recruitment of the twins, mainly because of the relationship he has with their father, Aaron Harrison, Sr. The elder Harrison has said time and again that he's always felt comfortable with his sons playing basketball for Turgeon, believing that he's one of the most honest, good-natured people in college basketball. In the end, the opinion of Papa Harrison didn't seem to matter as the twins opted for John Calipari and Kentucky.
The real question is: where does Maryland go from here? Ben B. will be answering that shortly as he dives into the rest of the 2013 recruiting class, where Maryland stands with those players, and who they need to now shift their energy over towards recruiting to College Park.
Does this suck? Yup. Is it the end of the world? No way. Remember when we wouldn't even be at this point with recruits at this level? Heck, I remember not making the final ten lists for a lot of these guys. Turgeon and his staff are doing a lot to get Maryland to the point where these battles will become more and more common and eventually, we'll start winning them. We might have lost this one, but I have complete faith that Turgeon has us headed in the right direction and one day soon, someone like the Harrisons will be putting a Maryland Under Armour hat on their head at one of these press conferences.
Unfortunately, that day was not today.