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 recruiting hauls in the history of basketball, but it may be the Spartans who have the most complete player right now in sophomore shooting guard Gary Harris, who won Big Ten freshman of the year honors after averaging 12.9 points.
He bypassed a shot at the first round of the 2013 NBA Draft to come back and hone his game more and help Sparty get back to the Final Four. But ironically enough, the team he’ll face-off against tonight is the same school he almost committed to coming out of high school.
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.”