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Houston Rockets 2015 NBA Draft Prospect: What If… Andrew Harrison?

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Houston Rockets 2015 NBA Draft Prospect: Andrew Harrison

What if the Houston Rockets wanted to add size at guard and another ball-handler to the lineup, so they draft Andrew Harrison from Kentucky in the 2nd-Round?

Apr 4, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Kentucky Wildcats guard Aaron Harrison (2) shoots the ball against Wisconsin Badgers forward Duje Dukan (13) during the first half of the 2015 NCAA Men

At around two months away, NBA hopefuls are prepping for their final shots at impressing an NBA organization. Some players are returning to college to build their brand and try to lead their team to an NCAA title, while others are committing to the NBA as 19-year old freshman hoping to make it. June 25th will be a glorious day for players like Justise Winslow, Karl Anthony-Towns and all of the players entering the draft, but see why the Rockets may want to pick a player from their own crop in Houston?

Overview

Andrew Harrison, not to be confused with his twin brother Aaron, was the starting point guard for the University of Kentucky as they almost reached the NCAA Championship both of the last two seasons. Although losses to UConn and Wisconsin altered their plans of walking away with two rings, the Harrison brothers and the Kentucky teams the last two years proved their players may be the most NBA-ready of any program in the country. Harrison did a lot for the team including run the offense, score the ball, assist and usually guarded the other team’s best guard.

Unfortunately, at the moment Andrew Harrison is mostly known for his “slur” at Wisconsin center Frank Kaminsky after Wisconsin beat Kentucky in the Final Four. Harrison admitted he was wrong, learned he had to mature and will now be tested by coaches when he gets a chance to meet with teams. Although he is only 20-years old, there will be no place for that in the NBA, he will have to prove his skills and accountability can make up for what he was lacking in the past.

First i want to apologize for my poor choice of words used in jest towards a player I respect and know.

— Andrew Harrison (@DrewRoc5) April 5, 2015

When I realized how this could be perceived I immediately called big frank to apologize and let him know I didn’t mean any disrespect

— Andrew Harrison (@DrewRoc5) April 5, 2015

2014-2015 Stats at the University of Kentucky

The 6’6, 210-lb. PG won’t finesse the opposition like some of the smaller guards in the draft, but he does have a great sense of awareness and his court vision is top-notch. Harrison loves to get in transition and either finish at the rim or find his teammate for the open shot, sounds about right for the Rockets huh?

Points: 9.3
Assists: 3.6
Rebounds: 2.2
Steals: 1.0
To: 1.6 (bringing it down from 2.7 his freshman season)
*per game

His best game of the season was February 2nd when he put up 23 points on 8/16 shooting and 7 assists against SEC-opponent Georgia.

Houston Ties

Although born in San Antonio, both Harrison brothers went to high school and played basketball at Fort Bend Travis High School in Richmond, Texas, 20-minutes from downtown-Houston. In 2013 the Travis Tigers won a 5A State Championship with the twins at the helm, fellow draftee Kelly Oubre Jr. attended Bush High School down the street and in the same district as Travis.

The Harrison’s also destroyed the AAU stage during HS with their city-known team, the Houston Defenders. Numerous tournament championship trophies and a state title got the twins the recognition they deserved and next thing they knew, Coach Calipari was offering them a spot at Kentucky. Prior to walking onto campus, they both attended the Nike Hoops Summit and the adidas Basketball Camp. The brothers almost stayed in Texas and attended Larry Brown’s SMU squad which made the decision that much harder, but both decided for the Bluegrass State instead. The guards from Richmond, Texas will be looking to take over the NBA next, but will need to wait for draft night first.

Recent Twins

Drafting a twin brother wouldn’t exactly be brand new for the Rockets, in 2011 Houston selected Marcus Morris from Kansas at pick #13, one pick earlier the Phoenix Suns snagged twin brother Markieff. The Morris brothers have since reunited in Phoenix, but why not try again? Both Andrew or Aaron can play both positions, they both averaged near 10 points a game their sophomore season and they are both solid defensively.

The Morris brothers have been great contributors for NBA teams since 2011, but it wasn’t until they teamed back up that they became forces to reckon with. Not saying that is what the Harrison’s will need to do, but sometimes the chemistry is better for the entire team with both twins content.

Apr 4, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Wisconsin Badgers guard Traevon Jackson (12) has his shot blocked by Kentucky Wildcats guard Andrew Harrison (5) in the first half of the 2015 NCAA Men

Projections

Assuming the Rockets go interior with their 18th pick from New Orleans in the first-round, the early 2nd-round pick may go to the future point guard of the team. Guards such as Delon Wright and D’Angelo Russell will be gone by the end of the first-round, leaving a few decent prospects and the twins.

Draft Express has Andrew Harrison ranked at number #50, going to the Atlanta Hawks in a trade from Toronto. With only 10 picks left, #50 seems kind of low for the two-year starter that has plenty of experience at this point. I can see where his comments at the podium may have hurt his rating, but teams need guards that can get the job done and he has proved he can do just that.

Others, such as the crew of Sam Vecenie, Gary Parrish and Zach Harper at CBS Sports, have Andrew rated a little higher. Harper has him going #41 to the Miami Heat, Parrish says #39 to the Charlotte Hornets and Vecenie sits closely with DraftExpress at #49 to Washington. The Miami Heat pick could help improve a team that lost Norris Cole to the Pelicans, but Charlotte and Washington could probably save those picks for something more useful.

The Rockets will have a chance to grab a Houston-area kid that has been to championships, played in big games, hit big shots and can now help James Harden run a team that needs his size at guard. Kentucky’s Andrew Harrison could/should be the Houston Rockets early 2nd-round pick..and if he’s not there, look for his twin!

Next: What if Justise Winslow?

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