By Don Markus
2:26 PM CDT, October 3, 2012
Maryland basketball coach Mark Turgeon and assistant Bino Ranson reportedly had lunch today in Texas with Aaron Harrison Sr., the father of the 6-5 twin guards Aaron and Andrew Harrison, who are choosing between the Terps and defending national champion Kentucky.
According to a tweet by USA Today national basketball reporter Eric Prisbell – who formerly covered Maryland football and national college basketball for the Washington Post – Harrison Sr. said the lunch "went well" and that Maryland came on “strong at the end”.
The Harrison brothers, ranked among the top five players in the country, are scheduled to make their decision public Thursday at 5 p.m. on ESPNU.
There has been much speculation on a variety of websites, including USA Today, that the Terps could hold the edge because of the school's affiliation with Under Armour, which also sponsors the AAU team coached by Harrison Sr.
Here is the link to the latest USA Today tweet about the Harrisons.
There are other connectiions working in Maryland's favor.
Shaquille Cleare,Turgeon's top recruit a year ago who is now a freshman in College Park, played with the Harrisons on the Texas Defenders. Harrison Sr. grew up in the same Baltimore neighborhood as Ranson and his parents still live here.
Then there's John Lucas Sr., the former Terps all-American who has been associated with the Harrisons since they came to his summer camp in Houston as fifth-graders.
Lucas told me last week that the Harrisons were the only high school players he allowed to work out with pros he trains since Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. Bryant was in high school outside Philadelphia when Lucas coached the 76ers and LeBron James was in high school in Akron and worked out with the Cleveland Cavaliers when Lucas coached there. Lucas was fined substantially by the league for James' workout.
Lucas also told me Monday that he believed a decision had been reached - he wouldn't disclose which way the Harrisons were leaning - but the last-minute visit by Turgeon and Ranson might indicate that they were leaning toward the Wildcats to play for John Calipari. I think Harrison Sr. wants his sons to go to Maryland and play for Turgeon. In a USA Today story Tuesday, Harrison Sr. called Turgeon the "most upright" person he has met during the recruiting process.
The Harrisons wouldn't be the first high school players to change their minds in the last 24 hours before announcing their choice.