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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Recruiting Dominoes - Wiggins/Rathan-Mayes vs The Harrison Twins

With the news of Xavier Rathan-Mayes receiving a personal phone call from Coach Calipari and now today the announcement that he will visit Lexington on Friday, Kentucky seems to be inching closer to offering him a scholarship. Rathan-Mayes announced his top 10 school today and all of them had offered him a scholarship - minus Kentucky.

Rathan-Mayes would be a great get for Kentucky, but the real prize here is Wiggins. Kentucky may or may not be interested in Rathan-Mayes if not for Wiggins, but with Wiggins, they could potentially have a great package deal. It has been discussed a lot that they would like to attend college together, continuing their careers together in which they play high school, AAU, and in national competitions together.Wiggins is one of the best recruits to head to college in quite some time and any team would have a problem taking another top 30 player to have a better chance at his services.

It has been believed for quite some time that Wiggins is down to Kentucky and Florida State. Florida State is where his dad played his college basketball at. Last weekend though, Leonard Hamilton went to Philly to watch Wiggins and CIA Bounce play, but apparently he didn't get the memo that Wiggins didnt make the trip. That prompted folks to speculate that Hamilton and Wiggins aren't as close as made out to be and that Calipari has the inside scoop and edge on the #1 recruit in the nation. For the record, Florida State was also on Xavier Rathan-Mayes top 10 list.

Now I am making a few assumptions here, but most are pretty well accepted as fact. Wiggins should end up reclassifying to the class of 2013. The idea of Wiggins remaining in high school for two more years sounds stupid.

Now, Kentucky is also in a heated battle to land the Harrison Twins. The Harrison twins will also be coming in on the class of 2013 and they will be a package for sure. That means, they will be looking for a place where both of them can shine. At Kentucky, one of them would have to be the third option. And if Rathan-Mayes is there, he could ennd up eating into Aaron Harrison's minutes. Aaron is a scorer and I don't think he wants to be on a team with Wiggins, Rathan-Mayes, his brother, and the other 5 star recruits Kentucky will surely have.

Kentucky may ultimately have the choice on what package they would rather have. I don't think they will be able to swing all four the guys. They may have a better chance of getting just Wiggins and the Harrison twins, leaving Rathan-Mayes out in the cold, but that may be risky since Wiggins and Rathan-Mayes could turn around and go to Florida State. Plus, Rathan-Mayes could be the only guy out of the foursome who may stay in college for a few years. He is a guy you can build around.

Lets assume they choose between Wiggins/Rathan-Mayes and the Harrison twins. Who should they take?

Based of their future outlook, point guard may end up being the biggest position of need. They have Harrow now, but he could leave for the draft either this year or next year. They have no point guard coming in for the Class of 2012. In 2013, they have interest in only Andrew Harrison and Cat Barber at the moment. Having seen both multiple times, I would say there is a huge talent gap between the two.

At small forward, lets act on the assumption that Alex Poythress will be a one and done. In fact, lets assume that Nerlens Noel and Archie Goodwin will be one and done as well. All three are projected lottery picks. Noel is irrelevant, but if Goodwin did stay, that could make it more likely the Wiggins/Rathan-Mayes combo headed to Kentucky.

At shooting guard, Kentucky is in the hunt for plenty of the top guys and will end up with one of them. If a bigger talent like James Young or Wayne Seldon commit, that could be the end for the Harrison twins consideration of Kentucky.

Kentucky is in a great spot and really has the ability to play their cards in a lot of different ways. There is also Jabari Parker to consider. As a Maryland fan, I am hoping they have so many options that they end up blocking the Harrison twins plans of heading to Kentucky. With Xavier Rathan-Mayes getting closer to getting a scholarship offer, it looks like Kentucky could be in the process of doing that. If that happens, the Harrison twins to Maryland looks like a good bet.

(Note: I am not saying that the Harrison twins would be unable to start over Rathan-Mayes, but since they are a package deal, both of them need to go to a place where the are the top options. They won't have a problem standing out at Kentucky, but why choose to play beside Andrew Wiggins when the twins talent alone is good enough to take any solid big 6 school deep in the tourney?)

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