One might be inclined to think, given the nature of recruiting, that point guards and shooting guards pair up often for college. It would only make sense that a great point guard would attract a top-tier big man and backcourt mate.
History, however, tells us these pairings are akin to perfect games in baseball. You’ll see a few a lifetime, but they aren’t the norm.
The last time the country’s top-rated point guard joined the highest-rated shooting guard in the same class was 2006, when North Carolina landed Tywon Lawson and Wayne Ellington and won a national championship three years later. The pair then ascended to the NBA.
Kentucky is hoping history can repeat itself. Andrew Harrison (Richmond, Texas/Travis High) is the nation’s No. 2 overall player and top-ranked point guard in the ESPN 100. His brother, Aaron, checks in at No. 4 overall and is the No. 1 shooting guard. The pair committed to the Wildcats over Maryland and SMU on Thursday.
Highly ranked twins playing together at the college level is nothing new. Stanford, in particular, has had the market cornered on twins, as Palo Alto was home to the Lopez (Brook and Robin) and Collins (Jason and Jarron) twins. More than 28 feet worth of twins patrolled the paint for the Cardinal during their tenures. And most recently, Kansas featured the Morris twins (Markieff and Marcus), who were a big hit in Lawrence two seasons ago.
Old-timers will argue that Dick and Tom Van Arsdale -- taken 10th and 11th overall, respectively, in the 1965 NBA draft -- were the most successful professional basketball twins. Each played 12 years in the NBA. Horace and Harvey Grant are right up there, too. Horace was drafted 10th and Harvey 12th in back-to-back years (1987 and 1988).
The Collins twins went 18th (Jason) and 52nd (Jarron) in the 2001 draft; the Lopez twins went 10th (Brook) and 15th (Robin) in 2008; and the Morris brothers went 13th (Markieff) and 14th (Marcus), also in 2011.
Can the Harrison twins pull off such a feat? Looking ahead, it’s highly likely they both will be lottery selections.
This duo is the real deal. Andrew, the point guard, is 6-foot-5 and nearly 200 pounds. The only point guard in the NBA (we won’t even go there in college) with those measurables is Jason Kidd. Aaron, roughly the same size, shoots the ball proficiently behind the arc and is a proven scorer.
They are an uncommon pair of basketball twins. The most successful twin players have been frontcourt duos. Whereas other tandems controlled the paint, the Harrisons control the flow of the game.
In a historical sense, the Harrisons are already the highest-rated twins coming out of high school. It’s also highly likely they’ll play in the NBA like the other twins mentioned.
However, there is another area they can set themselves apart from the competition: an NCAA championship. Horace Grant won NBA titles with the Bulls, but none of those other sets of twins teamed up to cut down the nets in the national title game.
Kentucky certainly wouldn’t mind making history next season.