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Harrison twins' return gives Calipari most experienced UK team to date

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Aaron and Andrew Harrison announced their decisions to return to Kentucky on Friday. (Chet White, UK Athletics) Aaron and Andrew Harrison announced their decisions to return to Kentucky on Friday. (Chet White, UK Athletics)
After a flurry of announcements over the last two weeks of Wildcat big men bypassing the NBA Draft, UK appeared set in the frontcourt for 2014-15.

With guards Andrew and Aaron Harrison tweeting news of their decisions to return to Kentucky on Friday, John Calipari's team should be just fine in the backcourt too.

"ONE MORE YEAR #BBN #strivefor9," Andrew Harrison said.

"Glad to say that I will be back at UK for my sophomore year. #BBN," Aaron Harrison said minutes later.

The announcement triggered a torrent of excitement on the part of UK fans, an understandable feeling given the key roles the two 6-foot-6 twin brothers played in leading their team to the national championship game.

Explaining his decision to return just two days before the NBA's deadline to declare for the draft, Aaron Harrison cited that NCAA Tournament run.

"I'm coming back for a second season in large part because last year's title run was special, but we still have unfinished business," Aaron Harrison said.

Aaron Harrison started all 40 of UK's games as a freshman, averaging 13.7 points and 3.0 rebounds. Memorably, he hit game-winning 3-pointers against Louisville, Michigan and Wisconsin to lift UK to within one victory of the ninth national championship the Cats will pursue again in 2014-15.

Andrew Harrison -- who started 39 games at point guard and averaged 10.9 points and a team-high 4.0 assists -- had that on his mind when he decided to bypass this year's draft.

 "I'm returning for my sophomore season because I want to win a national title." Andrew Harrison said.

Calipari will of course be looking to coach UK to that national championship, but his first thought was about how he expects them to develop as they come back to Lexington.

"I'm excited about Aaron and Andrew's decision to return for next season," head coach John Calipari said. "Their postseason play was a result of the improvement they made all season and displayed what they're capable of doing on the court. I look forward to having the opportunity to work with them during the summer and watch them lead next year's team."

The team they will lead features a remarkable stockpile of talent. The Harrison twins are among nine McDonald's All-Americans on UK's 2014-15 roster. Willie Cauley-Stein -- who likely would have been a first-round draft pick this season had he declared -- is not included in that group.

Cauley-Stein was the first of six Wildcats to announce he would return to UK and was followed by Marcus Lee, Alex Poythress, Dakari Johnson and finally the Harrison twins.

They will combine with fellow scholarship returnees Derek Willis and Dominique Hawkins to give Coach Cal his most experienced Kentucky team. Players responsible for 64.6 percent of UK's minutes played in 2013-14, 59.3 percent of its scoring, 54.2 percent of its rebounds and 67.3 percent of its assists will again be in the fold.

They will be joined by yet another highly touted recruiting class featuring Karl-Anthony Towns, Trey Lyles, Devin Booker and Tyler Ulis. Not long after the twins' decision, three of those incoming freshmen had already weighed in on social media, among others.







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3 Comments

im so glad that the power house of the Harrison twins are coming back. coach cal.is the man. we have a power house team for 2014-2015 season.i am a true blue fan, a true blue die hard. my nephew by marrage played for Kentucky under joe b hall. my wish is that coach cal. and the uk players would come and sing my uk wall in my man cave. true blue fan forever martin brothers

Most importantly, the boys are continuing their educations,and learning the significance of goal setting and teamwork. What men and team these boys will become!

It's going to be a big deal to have the twins come back next season; will only help the team have another good season in 2014-2015.

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Recent Comments

  • BJ Rassam: It's going to be a big deal to have the twins come back next season; will only help the team read more
  • J Brand: Most importantly, the boys are continuing their educations,and learning the significance of goal setting and teamwork. What men and team read more
  • martin brothers: im so glad that the power house of the Harrison twins are coming back. coach cal.is the man. we have read more