Harris and Robinson show out

It was an elite battle as Gary Harris and Glenn Robinson matched up against each other in an early season showdown.

With an abundance of talent in the 2012 class in the state of Indiana, some primetime matchups are sure to take place. The one that kicked things off, also happened to be one of the most anticipated. Gary Harris and Hamilton Southeastern took on Glenn Robinson and Lake Central on Saturday evening.

To this point in their careers, Robinson and Harris had only had their paths cross a few times. Despite living less than three hours from each other, both playing on Under Armour sponsored AAU teams, and both being elite level talents, the two had never really played in a game that mattered either during the summer or during the school year. That all changed with the meeting between the two schools

Early on in the game it was Robinson who drew first blood. While Harris missed his first two shots, Robinson hit an open three and scored around the rim for five quick points. Add in a few short easy conversations, and Robinson was out to nine quick points before all the fans were settled in their seats.

Harris however wouldn't take long to answer. The five-star shooting guard missed his first two mid-range jumpers, but then found his range. He hit a deep three, hit a pair of free throws, and then converted another mid-range shot to get going, and from there the battle was one.

Robinson is a little bit bigger than Harris, and Harris is a bit more adept at handling the ball on the outside, so the two worked to their strengths. Harris went to work off the dribble while Robinson did a lot of damage on the interior and from the mid-range.

Coming in as the No. 12 ranked player in the country, Harris knew he would have a great challenge from Robinson who checks in at No. 38.

"Glenn is a great player," said Harris. "We have played Indiana All-Stars together and saw each other over the summer, and he is a great player. I know I have to get used to playing against him since he is going to Michigan next year, so it was fun."

Robinson also enjoyed the matchup of two future Big Ten players.

"It was great," said Robinson. "Gary is a great player. We have played against each other at a couple of camps and stuff. I knew going in he was a great player. We did what we could to get the win, but we didn't come out on top."

A lot of the time in high school basketball when you see a matchup like this, the stars don't guard each other, and that was partly true. Harris checked Robinson on the offensive end, but Robinson went up against his future teammate Zak Irvin on the defensive end.

Irvin, who struggled with Robinson's length and athleticism at times, did manage 18 points, and said it wasn't easy going against his future teammate.

"It was tough seeing him play against him knowing we will be on the same team in a few years, but we had fun," said Irvin. "He is a great player."

While the first quarter was close, Hamilton Southeastern really opened things up in the second and held a commanding 18 point lead at halftime. Still Harris and Robinson were going blow for blow at each other. Each star had 16 points at the break, and it was easy to see they enjoyed the battle.

"We had a good time out there," said Robinson. "We talked a little smack to each other. We went head-to-head, it was just real fun."

While Harris, who is headed to Michigan State, and Robinson, who is a future Michigan Wolverine, made no secret that they were talking to each other during the game, both said their future schools didn't come up.

"No we didn't bring that up, but we were definitely talking to each other," said Harris with a laugh. "Glenn is a great guy and we were just having some fun with each other."

Robinson echoed those sentiments, "We didn't talk about Michigan and Michigan State. I think we had it in the back of our minds. I think next year when we both get to college we might talk smack more about that, but not tonight."

While Lake Central and Robinson played valiantly in the second half, they simply didn't have the fire power to come up with the win. Hamilton Southeastern prevailed 79-64 in front of an impressive crowd.

For the game Robinson finished with 30 points on 10-18 shooting to go along with 11 rebounds. Harris countered with 25 points on 9-16 shooting and nine rebounds of his own. Both players were satisfied with their performances knowing the competition they were up against.

"I thought I played alright," said Robinson after the game. "I am a team player and I thought we could have done more little things to win the game, and we didn't come out on top. Next time I just want to do more to help my team win the game."

Harris said, "I think I did pretty good, especially in the first half. I came out strong, unfortunately I started cramping up in the second half, but overall I think I played well. I was happy to get the win."

While individually a case could be made that this was a draw between Harris and Robinson, right now Harris has the bragging rights as his team won. However we will see much more of these two in future years in the Big Ten as the Spartans and Wolverines both snagged excellent pledges.

Give round one to Harris because of the team win, but make no mistake over the next four years these two friendly rivals will be gunning for each other during heated Big Ten play.

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