By LARRY VAUGHT
Ed Isaacson (@nbadraftblog on Twitter) evaluates players nationally for NBADraftBlog.com. He predicted early this season that UK’s highly-touted freshmen might struggle more than some projected and wasn’t as high on Kentucky having as many 2014 NBA draft first-round picks as many anticipated. With the start of NCAA Tournament play only four weeks away, Isaacson offered these insights on the Wildcats from a NBA analyst’s perspective.
Question: What do you think of the recent speculation that the Harrison twins, Andrew and Aaron, will be back at UK for another season?
Isaacson: “I’m not really surprised because this kind of speculation by the media is what gets page views. Obviously not a scientific stat, but it really seems that three out of every four college basketball stories this year has to do with freshmen. It starts with all the stories hyping them, then come the stories that they aren’t playing well. Now the next hope will be that they will play well again so those writing the stories can put new stories up saying that they may just be first round picks again. There’s a reason that you give freshmen a whole year before you really evaluate them. Things change quickly, especially once February and March come around. So don’t read too much into any speculation.”
Question: In spite of the criticism the Harrison twins have received, are they still legitimate future first-round picks and solid NBA players?
Isaacson: “In terms of talent, both twins can certainly be future first round picks, even though both showed fundamental flaws in their games so far this season. Andrew really hasn’t shown that he can be a high-level point guard and Aaron hasn’t been a consistent enough shooter for a high-level shooting guard. Those two things are critical for them in terms of their pro futures. The attitude issue is another thin entirely and that is what ends up being what NBA teams see when they watch them play this year. They don’t seem like bad kids at all, but sometimes when you get called for a foul or make a bad play, you just put it aside and keep playing. No need for the ‘shocked’ looks and complaining to the refs and coach Calipari, even if they are right.”