Gary Harris Visit Shows Interest In Illini

Fighting Illini basketball coaches continue to rack up the mileage recruiting top prospects. With three players signed and two more committed, there is still plenty of room for talent. Bruce Weber went to see sophomore Gary Harris in Indiana last week, and Harris returned the favor by visiting the Assembly Hall Sunday for the Ohio State game.

Gary Harris is a 2012 guard prospect from Hamilton Southeastern in Fishers, Indiana. Illinois coach Bruce Weber watched his game against Carmel and big center A.J. Hammonds Wednesday. The only nonsenior starter, Harris says his team is playing well.

"So far the season's been going pretty good. We just lost one to Carmel. We've lost three games, but we've been doing pretty well lately. We've been playing great team ball. We just won last night (Saturday)."

Harris hopes his team can advance far in the Indiana state playoffs.

"I'm not sure where we're ranked. But anybody can win, so we have to come out and play hard to get out of the sectionals."

Hamilton Southeastern brought it's team to the University of Illinois for a team camp last June, and Harris showed promise as a long-range marksman. However, that was his primary function. He has expanded his game considerably as he's gained confidence.

"I've been playing pretty well. I've been struggling with my shot a little bit, but I'm getting to the basket and the free throw line. And I've been getting rebounds and helping out my team. I've gotten most of my points inside the three point line this year."

Harris continues to work on his game.

"I've been working on my jumper and getting to the basket. And when I get double-teamed, I can hit the open teammate to get them a better shot."

The Ohio State game began at noon, but he still had time to check out the sites beforehand.

"We were shown around campus, and Coach Weber talked to us."

What does he think of the school?

"I like it a lot. It's a great school. I like the atmosphere, I like the coaches."

Harris has offers from Illinois, Xavier and IUPUI, and more will be forthcoming. What does he want from a college?

"I'm looking for something I'm comfortable with. I want to like what they emphasize, what they're doing with the program. But the biggest is how comfortable I am."

The 6'-4" athlete was wearing a letter jacket boasting letters from two sports. He is a starter on his football team as well, a demonstration of his toughness.

"I've been playing football since about the third grade. I play wide receiver. This year we lost two games. We lost to Carmel in the sectional championship. We had a great season."

Harris is also getting good experience with his Team Indiana AAU quintet.

"Our AAU team is young. We played up last summer. We were inexperienced, but I think it helped us out in the long run. We were supposed to be 15's, but we played 16's."

Harris is averaging around 13 points a game and plays the point.

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