Aaron and Andrew Harrison were amongst the top 10 recruiting
class coming out of high school just a year ago.Extremely talented, large weights of Kentucky
Wildcat expectations have been squarely dropped on their shoulders.
Do they have what it takes to win a national championship?
Let's take a look at what has transpired throughout this
Kentucky was elated to get these twin guards and looked
forward to an exciting season of fast-paced high scoring successful basketball.What they got most of the year was dissention
in the ranks, uncomfortable moments, accusations of not being team players, and
simply not ready for this very high level of play.
As soon as the Wildcats' season faltered, even just a little
bit, the twins were unfairly easy scapegoats. It started looking like a season
that would go down as a learning season for Kentucky and the 9 other freshmen
that make up the roster.
But wait, not if Calipari has anything to do with it.The veteran coach worked hard every day to
teach these two and the team what it means to play D-1 ball and even better, Kentucky
ball. Practice after practice, rep after rep, Calipari would not let up on his
It takes hard work, unrelenting fight, thick skin, desire,
drive and heart.No kidding! I'm not
sharing anything new here.
Calipari always knew these two brothers possess special
skills and tried everything possible to bring it out of them, almost to the
point of criticism.Many felt early in
the season that the twins are no question very talented, but just young and in
need of experience.Most figured that
more time was needed than just this season.Calipari never gave up hope that these twins would "poise up" at some
point, and hoped desperately it would be sometime THIS season.
Let me just say, these are kids, children. At 19 years of
age, it is WAY too much to ask anyone. Although I thought I knew everything at
this age, I knew JACK SQUAT!
"People don't understand, unless you're in the locker
room, how much stuff we hear about us; how we don't love each other and we're
not that good individually," Andrew Harrison said. "But now we're
just happy to be here."
As much as their play was scrutinized and criticized during
Kentucky's first 31 games, there is no bigger reason for the Wildcats' surge
into the Final Four than the emergence of the Harrison Twins as elite
playmakers and clutch shooters.
I want it for the twins.How do you go from struggling to work with the rest of the team, to
making game winning shots time and time again in just a three week span?
Kentucky's weighted burden on the twins has slowly been
lifting away because of Calipari and his unrelenting need to teach these
youngsters what it takes to succeed, not giving up on them, ever, and working
hard to impress upon them how things work in this world, and this crazy thing
"The biggest thing we had to help them with was body
language," Calipari said. "As that changed, they became different
players. The second thing was, we had to define the roles better, and I did a
poor job of that until late in the year, by the end of the year. I can't
believe it. I was angry when I realized what I had done."
Win or lose, the twins have overcome.Maybe their youth will allow the two
to take this season's journey, learn from it, and dance with a national championship.Let the fists pump when late in the game a
pinpoint pass from Andrew to Aaron for a three puts them into the finals.
Let youth overcome and let's all learn from their season's journey. We could all learn a little something from life mentor and coach, Calipari.