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The Dagger

Top recruits say they would beat Michael Jordan one-on-one in his prime

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

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Kentucky-bound Andrew Harrison (Getty Images)

Maybe they're not old enough to remember how ridiculously good Michael Jordan was. Maybe they misunderstood the question. Maybe they were just joking around and it didn't come through in print.

Regardless, the answers some of the class 0f 2013's top high school prospects gave USA Today when asked how they'd fare in a game of one-on-one against Jordan in his prime are just plain bizarre.

Three of the eight players polled actually predicted they would defeat Jordan, though the comments by Duke-bound Matt Jones have enough false bravado to them that it appears he's kidding. There's no such obvious nuance to the quotes attributed to Kentucky-bound recruits Dakari Johnson and Andrew Harrison.

Said Johnson: "I’m taking him to the post every time. He’d stop me a couple of times, but I’d just keep going back down there. I’d just contest his jump shots and pray that he’d miss. I think in the end, I’d get him though. I’m too big down there."

Said Harrison: "I think he’d get a couple buckets here and there, but then I’d start to lock him down and give him buckets. Yeah, I think I’d get him."

A couple buckets here and there?! Seriously?!

[Also: NBA-bound Michael Carter-Williams: I can go No. 1 overall]

Johnson is an elite center and Harrison is the nation's most coveted point guard, but the idea they'd get more than a bucket or two off early-90s MJ is laughable. After all, 50-year-old MJ reportedly had his way with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist recently, and I'd take my chances with Kidd-Gilchrist against either Johnson or Harrison in a game of one-on-one right now.

Again, I hesitate to be too critical of either of these players because it's possible the tone of their response failed to come through in print. But if that's not the case, they're going to be in for a rude awakening in college and at the professional level as the competition begins to get tougher.

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