Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Marcus Lee to Kentucky, Has Ties to Harrisons (UPDATED)
Marcus Lee’s commitment to Kentucky Wednesday may well have been informed in part by his preexisting friendship with the Harrison twins.
Lee visited Kentucky this past weekend for Big Blue Madness, and the twins were there as well.
“I think the Harrisons help a little but just because he has that previous relationship with them, and there is sort of a comfort level,” Bryan Lee, Marcus’s brother, told SNY.tv Tuesday night. “I think he trusts the way they play.”
Lee made official on Wednesday what many had expected by pledging to Kentucky during a press conference.
“For the next four years, I’ll be attending the Univeristy of Kentucky,” he said.
In the span of 14 days, Kentucky has now added Aaron and Andrew Harrison, James Young and Lee and gotten 6-10 freshman center Nerlens Noel eligible (Story here).
The 6-foot-8 Lee — who chose Kentucky over Cal — knows the Harrisons from their summer workouts in their home state.
“He works out with John Lucas in the summer for the last few years in Texas,” Bryan said. “I remember a few years ago him telling me how these kids were beasts. I think that he does look at them as pretty good players.”
Lee, out of Deer Valley (Calif.) Antioch, also wants to play on the highest level possible in order to prepare for an NBA career. And given what Kentucky has accomplished recently, there may be no higher level and no better way to prepare for the pros.
“We figure that if Marcus thinks that he can be a pro one day, he’s gotta prove that he can play on any team, you know?” Bryan said.
Lee is coming off an official visit this past weekend to Kentucky for Big Blue Madness that went extremely well.
“It went really well,” Bryan said. “They did their job. They timed it well with having the kids there and being able to sit down with the academic advisors and get to watch practice, they did a good job.”
Julius Randle , the top power forward in the Class of 2013, went out of his way in his USA Today blog to point out that he has no feud with the Harrisons and would love to play with them.
“I love that they’re at Kentucky too,” he wrote.
“Potentially playing with two great guards would make it easier for me. I think that we would have a legit shot to win a national championship in our first year because I don’t see any guards in the country that would be better than them.”
The real test for Kentucky coach John Calipari and his magic recruiting touch will be if he can convince Lee, Randle and committed big Derek Willis— three power forwards — to come to Kentucky in the same class.
If Calipari can pull that triple threat off and get Andrew Wiggins, too, then, well, this may be the greatest class in recruiting history, as I wrote in this earlier story.
“Cal said you can earn your playing time,” Bryan said. “Nothing’s really been promised. We haven’t really dug in to how he much he’s played. It hasn’t really been a concern”
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.