This could be a huge week for the Louisville basketball program. After adding George Mason transfer Luke Hancock over the weekend, the Cards should potentially add another highly-touted guard by the end of the week. Both Ryan Harrow and Kevin Ware are approaching decision time. Harrow is set to make his decision by Friday and by all accounts, it’s down to Louisville, Georgia, and Kentucky. Ware, on the other hand, is set to make an official visit to Louisville this weekend and will reportedly make a final decision shortly thereafter. He’s down to either Louisville or Georgia. So, this begs the question, which one will end up at Louisville?
I have a strange feeling it’s Ware after everything is said and done. Harrow will make a decision first, and the domino’s will fall in whatever direction he doesn’t choose. He’s basically the one pulling all the strings. If he chooses Georgia, then I’d say there’s little chance Ware follows him and decides to compete with another highly rated prospect for three years at the same position. More than likely, wherever Harrow does not go, Ware will end up. And if I had a guess at this point, Harrow chooses Georgia and Ware, by default, ends up here in the river city.
In my eyes it’s a win-win situation. Harrow is a former 5-star guard and a third team Parade All-American and had a solid first year at NC State where he averaged 9.3 ppg and started 10 of the last 15 games for the Wolf Pack. Before that, in high school, he was the Georgia Gatorade Player of the Year and averaged 31.4 ppg as a senior. He was ranked #25 overall by Scout.com and #19 overall by Rivals. Harrow is a pretty fluid, smooth point guard that makes the right decision more often than not. He can also score the ball if he needs to, as evidenced by his gaudy high school numbers. I think you know exactly what you get with Ryan Harrow: a guy who has high D-1 experience and is a steady hand at the point guard position and a very capable replacement for Peyton Siva in the future.
Ware is still a work in progress in my eyes. When I saw him at the Derby Festival Classic a few weeks ago, I saw a kid who has a crazy upside and a ton of untapped potential. I also saw some suspect ball-handling and some very bad decision making (8 turnovers, to lead the game in that category). But, you have to keep in mind, this was an all-star game and it’s definitely played a bit looser than normal. In the days leading up to the game in the practices, I witnessed some explosive moves around the basket, some freakish athleticism, and a few dunks that left my mouth wide open. I have no doubt that Ware has the potential to be a great player in a few years. He needs some good coaching and some better discipline handling the ball, but I see good things in his future. He also needs to gain weight (currently listed at 6-4, 170) in order to become a more physical player on and off the ball. Ware is currently listed as a 4-star prospect and the #99 player on Scout’s list for 2011 and #70 by Rivals.
One other thing to note about Ware, he’s gotten a bad name for being involved with the whole UCF – Ken Caldwell ordeal, but keep in mind that this kid was committed to Tennessee for 2 years before Bruce Pearl was fired. For a young kid to stay committed to one school for that long with all the handlers, AAU coaches and various other things being constantly thrown in your direction, I think it actually speaks volumes about his character. He’s not the type of kid that wants to be a drama queen and serve as the center of attention, which he’s been made out to be. He’s only in this situation now because the coach he initially pledged his support to, was ultimately fired. It was unfortunate that he and his family took some bad advice and listened to Ken Caldwell, but it shouldn’t be a permanent scar that people refer to when bringing up the name Kevin Ware.
So, in the end, who will it be – Ware or Harrow? Stay tuned and the answers should start falling by this weekend.
– Brent Lepping