Don’t bet against Cal; that’s probably the moral of the story in all of this recruiting drama.
John Calipari and the Kentucky Wildcats will be retaining the services of two young twin stars, much to the chagrin of the Maryland Terrapins. As both the Wildcat and Terrapin Nations waited in anticipation for the decision of the twins, which they decided to announce at 5:30 PM on Thursday on ESPNU, no one really had any idea about where this one was headed; the twins were essentially on lockdown by their parents for the entire week leading up to the event. Of course, this led to fervent speculation on with both teams.
First, there were reports that Andrew and Aaron Harrison had decided they wanted to attend Kentucky, but there was a little in-house fighting going on as their father, who has strong ties to the Maryland area, desired them to attend the University of Maryland. While those reports were largely lambasted among other media members (Adam Zagoria, in particular, unjustly took quite a hit as he broke the story), those reports don’t seem so far fetched upon hearing the news today. There may have been an inkling of truth to them, and the writing may have been on the wall for a long time coming.
Then there was the last ditch effort by Mark Turgeon, who decided to fly straight to Houston a day before the announcement, to try and sway Andrew and Aaron Harrison in the direction of the Terrapins. No one wanted to admit it at the time, or perhaps were in complete denial, but the fact that the twins decision was moved forward so much and that Mark Turgeon headed all the way to Texas on such short notice, should have become a red flag for everyone who was following the story. While John Calipari was off suiting the 2014 class in Massachusetts , Turgeon was trying to make up ground lost to one of the best recruiters of the modern era on an ER trip to Houston. It should have been obvious then who the Terrapins were going up against. Coaches who are confident that they have a commitment locked up don’t take last minute trips. They go elsewhere and check out other prospects. In the words of Jay-Z, they’re onto the next one.
Which, by the way, is exactly what the Terrapins should be thinking right now. Onto the next one. It’s what coach Cal would be doing, and it’s what the Terrapins should be doing as well. While we may have lost the battle, we haven’t yet lost the war. This one stings; hell, I’m legitimately upset that I cannot watch these two go at it in a Maryland uniform. It would have been a win like Maryland has never experienced since the 2002 National Championship. But it isn’t. And that is a truth we all have to live with. So as Jay-Z would say, onto the next one. That next one would be Roddy Peters.
Turgeon and his staff need to deliver to Peters, who just took a trip to UCLA, the same treatment given to the Harrison twins (our spurned lovers). As is widely known by anyone with a television set who has seen a Coke commercial in the past ten years: you can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, then you might find you get what you need.
So fear not, Terrapins. We’re going to go hard after Roddy Peters and we’re going to go very hard in the paint next year with Len, Shaq, and Mitch against whoever Calipari and crew throws up against us. And we’re going to win at both.
Fear The Turtle