One-on-One with Top HS Player in the Nation

LAS VEGAS -- After playing in the EYBL, winning a Gold Medal with USA Basketball and competing in The 8 during final evaluation period, Harry Giles, Scout's top prospect in 2016, has completed his final spring and summer on the circuit. Did he live up to his own expectations on the court? What is his recruiting plan going forward? Giles went one-on-one with Scout.

You’ve been highly touted since you were a freshman and are currently ranked as the top player in the class and obviously there is pressure in that, do you feel like you lived up to expectations this summer?
Most definitely. I think I had some doubt from some people thinking, ‘Is he going to be the same?’ when they see the knee brace. ‘Is he still going to be the same? He’s good, but will he take it to the next level?’ I think I took it to the next level. I think I used that motivation of being hurt and having the brace and not being able to do everything I used to do and go out and just dominated every session. That was my goal with camp and USA, just go out there and being dominate.

There’s been a lot of talk with this class about how good it is, especially at the top. What separates you from everybody else?
I just try to be the most special one. We are all good. But it’s the one that can be the best all the time, every night, every game and who can bring it every game and we who wins. That’s always impressive. I’m just trying to do my best. I’m always trying to win and be the best player on the court. I just try to separate myself and be different than everybody else.

What do you consider your biggest strengths as a player?
My versatility and I motivate my team too. I lead them and I motivate them. I’m the same if I’m scoring and if things aren’t going right for me, I’m still yelling. With my versatility the bigger guys I pull them out and the same thing with the smaller guys I take them inside. I can pass and rebound too. I can play the game different ways when I’m not scoring.

Switching gears to recruiting, I know you just cut down your list. Where do things stand with your recruitment right now?
I’m not sure if I’ll cut it again, but right now I’m trying to settle some visits. Then see where I end up at. Then it’ll be decision time after that.

Of the five remaining schools, which ones have you visited unofficially?
Everyone except for Kansas.

Do you have any official visit dates set up yet?
Not yet. I’m probably going to take them in September, so I’ll set them up soon.

Do you intend to visit all five schools on your list officially?
Yeah I think so. Hopefully, possibly. You know how that goes.

You had a ton of schools recruiting you, but settled on these five schools. Walk me through your thought process and what you like about each of the five schools?

Giles ranks as Scout’s top player in 2016
Wake Forest, it’s my hometown and they have a great coaching staff. Danny Manning played like me and he said he did everything I’m trying to do it. It’s a good selling point and he’s a great guy too. The coaching staff has been recruiting me for a while.

With Duke, it’s the same with Coach K. He’s a great coach and you could never go wrong with him. He’s a legendary coach and they have a great coaching staff. I’ve known those two schools since my freshman year and I have a great relationship with them and that’s something I like. I like the program up there.

Carolina is the same way. Roy is a great dude. I’ve known him for all four years. I have a great relationship with all those guys.

Coach Calipari, he has a new staff, but I’m cool with all of them too, just like I was with the other ones. He’s a great dude. He wants the best for you. He has that one goal for you to help you be the best player you can be. He’s trying to get you there.

With Kansas and coach Self, I like them, man. There’s something about him and coach Howard from when I first met them. We have a great relationship and something just stuck with me. I just have a good relationship them. They have good bigs too and they have a good program as well.

You and Jayson Tatum have publicly said how good of friends you are. He just committed to Duke. Does that impact your decision?
I mean, that’s my best friend. So it’s going to impact me a little bit, but at the same time I have to make the best decision for me. Regardless if he went to Duke or not, if he didn’t go there, I would still consider Duke just as much. At the same time, I have to make the right decision for me. If the right decision is we are both at the same school, it is what it is.

Do you have timeframe on when you want to make your college choice?
I’m going to try do it before my high school season starts.

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