One On One With Blake Harris

One of the top point guards in the class of 2017 is very familiar with Duke. Not only has Blake Harris visited campus recently, but he’s also spent a few years getting to know the Blue Devils off the court. Will it result in an offer going forward? We spoke with Harris about that and much more.

TDD:Let's start off the court first Blake, how would you describe yourself away from basketball?

Blake Harris: I’m pretty normal to be honest…I like just playing basketball, going to school-stuff like that. My dad played growing up and my mom and my dad both went to North Carolina, and I grew up in Chapel Hill. I have a brother and a sister and my grandparents are in Chapel Hill too. 

Were you a UNC fan growing up since you lived in Chapel Hill?

Early on I liked them, especially for football, but for basketball I liked a lot of different teams. It was until 8th grade I was way more of a football fan than I was a basketball fan, that's when I started watching basketball more. 

What sparked your interest in basketball then?

I got two severe concussions playing football and my mom didn't want me to play that anymore. 

Who played a big role in your development as a basketball player early on?

Probably my AAU Coach, Coach Stenner, then I was with United and then a few other teams.

What's it like for you being recognized as one of the better point guards in your class since you got a later start with basketball than some?

Last year-nobody had interest in me, I hadn't received any letters and there were no scouts visiting me. Now,it's really kind of weird for me having the calls and interests and offers but now it's getting more normal for me.

Out of the coaches you have talked with so far-has there been any that you say to yourself, "I can't believe I'm actually talking to this coach?”

Not as much to be honest. The biggest ones I'd say I talked to was UCLA and Duke, I have talked a lot with UCLA and I have talked more and more with Coach Scheyer from Duke in the last couple of weeks.

What have you and Coach Scheyer discussed so far?

Just that they like me a lot and they like how I play as a point guard. They also talked about how I could play there.

Before you started talking with Duke-how much did you know about them as a program?

Oh, I liked them a lot ever since I started watching basketball in the eighth grade. I liked how their guards played. I know a good amount of them. I liked the guards and Coach K…he's a guards coach and he gives them freedom to make plays, I like that a lot. Their fast break-it's not really laid out like others are-so they have freedom to make whatever plays they need to in fast break to score. 

You had a recent visit to Duke, what were your impressions of what you saw there?

I was there first for the Countdown to Craziness which was cool but then when I was back there a few days ago for another game. I got to stand on the court with the assistant coaches before the game which was real fun and then afterwords I went into the players locker room and I got to hear Coach K's talk with the players after the game. I already knew Quinn Cook, so him and I talked for a little while and then myself and my family got to talk with Coach K for like 20 minutes. I talked with all the coaches while I was there.

What was the meeting like with Coach K, what items did you guys discuss?

Just how their guards play, they like how I play and just a lot about life and basketball and how school is going. They are going to keep watching me play a lot. It was a good conversation.

What sort of questions did you and your family have for Coach K and the staff as you talked?

We asked about playing style, but my mom actually had a lot more of the questions. I can't even remember all the questions she asked.

How were the Cameron Crazies with you?

  I talked with some when I was on the court and they were telling me how much they wanted me to come there.

How much, if any attention were you paying to Tyus Jones and Quinn Cook during the game?

I was watching Tyus yeah and I always watch Quinn-i watch him all the time. I liked what Tyus was doing in the first half he was more getting guys involved, and then in the second half he was doing even more.

How far back does your relationship go with Quinn Cook?

Probably at least a year. We goto the same barbershop so we got to know each other pretty well there and he's actually come to a few of my games which was cool and we have played one on one a few times. We play pickup sometimes too. We have a good relationship.

With Duke recruiting you now, how big a factor is your relationship with Quinn in your overall consideration of Duke?

It's definitely there I'd say. It was actually kinda funny when I was there for the game I sat right next to Quinn's mom, and she was telling me that I need to go to Duke and also to keep my grades up. I like a Duke a lot, it's a good school.

Aside from Duke, which other schools do you have serious interest in early on?

Well, in terms of offers I have Virginia Tech, Norfolk State and several others. With interest I have a lot of interest from Florida State, Virginia Tech, UCLA, Notre Dame, and Duke.

Are than any schools that you haven't received an offer from yet that you are really hoping from an offer from?

I'd say Duke and North Carolina especially since they are good schools and close to home.

Is staying close to home for your college career something you’d prefer?

Right now maybe, but as I get older-it may not be as big a deal. My parents will have a big part with where I go to and my family too, especially my brother-he will have a big part too. 

Based on the schools recruiting you so far-are there any in particular that either your parents or your brother really like for you?

I think they like all of them right now.

Do you guys have a decision plan in place already?

I'll probably decide earlier than most. When I get the right school, I'll know but it probably won't be until next year at least.

What are the major things you will look at as you consider schools for a final decision?

How their guards play, what guards will they have there when I get there, good coaching. Also how well the coaches are in getting players to the NBA and what kind of players do they have in the program?

Are you evaluating the pros track record of schools based on the point guards they have in the League or is it more the overall track record of developing players for the pros-no matter their position?

Probably overall in general because you want to see how good they are as a team with that.

Going back to your answer about hoping for the Duke and UNC offers-how much do you think it will affect your recruitment if you get an offer from either program or from both?

It'd be cool to have both but I don't know how much it will affect things right away….we"ll see though.

Are there any guys in your class that you are hoping potentially to go to school together?

Yeah Matt Coleman is one, we have talked about it. We could kinda be like the UCONN thing with Boatright and Shabazz Napier

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