Let’s say you’re Tom Crean and you’re looking for a shooting guard out of the Class of 2012. Your choices are Ron Patterson, D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera and Gary Harris.
Who do you take?
A year ago, it was a no-brainer in terms of who you WOULDN’T take. Harris was too thin, too weak and too one dimensional. The other two were better.
Now, however, you could argue that Harris has the biggest upside. Why? For starters because he IS bigger. The Hamilton Southeastern standout has gained 25 or so pounds, to about 195 pounds. At 6-4, he’s still not finished growing or building strength, but you can see the potential end result and it’s impressive.
For instance, consider the manly dunks Harris had during the opening round of the adidas May Classic. He tested the durability of the new Cook Hall rims. He also showed an improved all-around game.
This is why IU has offered him a scholarship. In an ideal Cream ‘n Crimson world, everybody else would pass on him and focus on Patterson and Smith-Rivera. Because this is the real world, schools such as Purdue, Butler, Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Illinois, Ohio State, Vanderbilt, Minnesota, Xavier and IUPUI have also offered.
Harris said the offers have “exploded” since last summer.
Harris recently took an unofficial visit to IU. He’s also stopped by Butler, Michigan State, Xavier, Illinois and Vanderbilt.
He’s not in a rush, and given he’s still a sophomore, there’s no need to rush.
That’s also true for Patterson, who also is playing at the May Classic. Tennessee, Illinois, Purdue, Minnesota and Ohio State are on his list. At 6-4 and 200 pounds, he’s a little heavier than Harris.
Smith-Rivera, by the way, pulled double duty by playing for Indiana Elite Team Indiana’s U-16 and U-17 squads on Saturday. He scored 14 points in the U-16 team’s 67-36 win over Wabash Valley Prospects. He had 10 points in the U-17’s 80-30 win over the Illinois Bears.
If nothing else, the guy is fit.
For the record, basically everybody on the Indiana Elite team is being recruited by the Hoosiers. That includes forward Cody Zeller, who is in no hurry to decide on a school. He said Saturday he’ll likely wait till the fall to announce his decision.
Also getting a look is Chesterton forward Mitch McGary. He looked solid on Saturday, but playing ability isn’t the problem. Grades are. He said he’s getting that in order. Saying, of course, is one thing. Doing is all that matters.
Anyway, if Crean can win some of these recruiting battles, he’ll blast away the perception he can’t get the top in-state talent. And with that talent, he’ll be positioned to turn his recruiting pitch into reality.
What is that pitch?
Restore IU’s basketball glory.