LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Andrew Harrison and his brother Aaron, the catalysts behind the University of Kentucky’s NCAA Tournament run last season, will return to UK for a sophomore year, the university has confirmed, and both announced through posts on Twitter.
The news was first reported this morning by Yahoo! Sports’ NBA writer Adrian Wojnarowski. He Tweeted that the two were torn over the decision and flipped-flopped both ways in recent days. ESPN’s Andy Katz said that the decision was so up in the air that UK’s sports information department has crafted two releases — one in which the twins stay, the other if they go.
Aaron Harrison wrote himself into Kentucky lore with game-winning shots against Louisville, Michigan and Wisconsin.
Andrew Harrison was the subject of a late-season John Calipari “tweak,” instructing him to pass the ball more and shoot less.
“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 in a release from the school.
Andrew Harrison started 39 games for UK and scored 10.9 points and added 4.0 assists per game. He dished out three or more assists in seven of UK’s final nine games. His-20 point performance led all Wildcat scorers in an upset of No. 1 seed Wichita State in the NCAA Tournament.
“I’m returning for my sophomore season because I want to win a national title.” Andrew Harrison said.
While Julius Randle was the team’s greatest individual talent and James Young already has declared for the NBA Draft, the two freshmen guards became the focal point of the team during the postseason.
Their return means that two-thirds of John Calipari’s No. 1-ranked recruiting class from last season will return for a sophomore year. Of his 12 UK recruits the past two seasons, eight have returned for a sophomore year.
“I’m excited about Aaron and Andrew’s decision to return for next season,” head coach John Calipari said in a release from the school. “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.”
Their return also is key because the Wildcats return what would have been a heavily front-court laden lineup had they departed. They now come back to join a team stocked with big men, plus a pair of big-time recruits at guard.
Upon the report, CBS Sports' Garry Parrish said that his outlet's Ridiculously Early Preseason Top 25 now ranks the Wildcats No. 1 in the nation.