A year ago, watching Blake Harris for the first time, I thought he was a pretty good little player who might develop into a Division I scholarship athlete.
Fast forward 12 months at the recent N.C. Phenom 150, and now he easily has surpassed that recognition and is making his case for a spot among the best point guards in the sophomore class.
It's far too early to slot him into the rankings or anything along those lines until we see him more extensively — and against the most challenging opposition — but his early offer list bodes well: Florida State, Cincinnati, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, UNC-Greensboro and Norfolk State. He also has picked up initial interest from Notre Dame, UCLA, Wake Forest, Wisconsin, Virginia and West Virginia, and he'll make upcoming stops at Duke and Georgetown for Midnight Madness festivities.
Harris certainly isn't the first member of his family to make an athletic impression, however. His father, Bernardo, played football at UNC and nearly a decade in the NFL. Though Blake doesn't yet possess his dad's strength (he was a linebacker), he has gained two full categories of quickness over the past year as well as greatly enhanced his skill level.
Already, Harris resides as one of the best passers in high school basketball, regardless of class. He makes some very flashy plays that he'll have to smooth out over time, but there's no denying his talent and ability to spot angles that other players don't realize exist. He excels running the break and calmly delivers slick dishes for uncontested dunks.
Harris also is fairly quick. He scores well on the move thanks to good body control and, at 6-2, already has sufficient size for point guard in college. He doesn't wield a textbook jump shot (which lacks rotation), but he hits pull-up jumpers when he's in rhythm.
"My mid-range has gotten a lot better," Harris said. "I'm just working hard on everything."
He's playing his high school ball at Martinsville (Va.) Carlisle this season and, after touring with the Juice All-Stars this past summer, will travel with Boo Williams in 2015.
Clearly, Harris will remain a top attraction in the Mid-Atlantic region and very likely continue to attract interest and offers from high-major programs.