The college basketball season is underway, and we will be treated to a potential Final-Four matchup before the season is even two weeks old, as the No. 1 Kentucky Wildcats will battle the No. 2 Michigan state Spartans Tuesday night on ESPN at 7:30 p.m. EST. Not only will it be a matchup of elite college teams, but two backcourts full of players who could be NBA All-Stars someday.
The Wildcats entered the season boasting one of the best backcourts in the nations with James Young paired with the Harrison twins to form a 3-guard combo of three players who entered college as top-10 recruits.
But the three combined to shoot just 7/21 against a UNC Asheville team lacking quality perimeter players, but did bounce back Sunday as Aaron Harrison scored 16 points and his brother, Andrew, chipped in 13, and both shot a combined 10/17. Young continued to struggle, shooting just 2/8 and is now 5/18 on the year after entering the year as a projected first-round NBA talent.
The Spartans will have arguably the best veteran backcourt in the nation in Keith Appling, Denzel Valentine and Gary Harris, who combined to shoot 16/32 against McNeese State on Friday night. Harris is the player NBA scouts are drooling over the most, and watching him matchup against one of the Harrison twins will be a fierce battle to watch.
Ironically enough, Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari recruited Harris to come to UK, and he almost did:
“I was very serious,” Harris, of Fishers, Ind., said of Kentucky. “They came in my final four schools (along with Indiana and Purdue). It was a tough decision to make after I took my four official visits. But I’m definitely glad with the decision I made.”
“This is an opportunity to play in such a big game,” Harris said. “That’s the exciting part. On the big stage, Chicago, us against Kentucky, Duke against Kansas (in the second game). I mean, that’s what we came here for, to play in big games and we get to start off early, like always.”