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.
Charles Barkley, Reggie Miller Say Harrisons Should Stay at Kentucky
NEW YORK — Charles Barkley and Reggie Miller both say that Andrew and Aaron Harrison should remain at Kentucky for their junior seasons instead of entering the NBA Draft.
“I think they should stay,” Miller told SNY.tv at at the NCAA Tournament Media Day Tuesday in New York. “I think Aaron’s probably a little bit more ready than Andrew, but if they want to be a package deal and come out together, then they both should wait.”
DraftExpress.com, the industry’s most widely respected mock draft site, currently has Andrew Harrison projected as the No. 51 pick in this year’s NBA Draft, and has Aaron going undrafted.
“Absolutely [they should stay],” Miller said. “If they’re projected that why not stay? You have a chance to win a championship [in 2015-16].
“It only makes your team better if you have veteran leadership and upperclassmen on your team.”
Led by potential No. 1 overall pick Karl-Anthony Towns, Kentucky, of course, is 31-0 and remains just about everybody’s favorite to cut down the nets this season.
It will be interesting to see how Kentucky coach John Calipari handles things after the NCAA Tournament
He already has guards Isaiah Briscoe and Charles Matthews signed for next season, when freshman point guard Tyler Ulis is also expected back.
The Wildcats remain in the mix for Malik Newman, the country’s top uncommitted guard, who is looking to play the point in college. The 6-3 Newman is considering Kentucky, LSU, Kansas and N.C. State, among others, and may wait until the NBA Early Entry deadline on April 26 to declare.
If the Harrisons were to return to campus, Kentucky would have at least five guards in the mix with them, Ulis, Briscoe and Matthews. And that doesn’t include Newman or freshman Devin Booker, a projected lottery pick who on Tuesday was named the SEC Sixth Man of the Year.
Barkley has long maintained that any college player projected as a second-round pick shouldn’t leave early.
“They should not,” Barkley told me Tuesday. “I don’t think you should leave college if you’re not going to be a first-round draft pick. I do not believe that.
“I wish we could make all these kids stay in school at least two years, but I don’t think they should come out unless you’re going to go in the first round. I mean, you’re contract’s not even guaranteed.”
Asked if he thought Calipari might push the Harrisons out to make room for the new recruits, Barkley said, “They won’t push those guys out.”
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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.