Tom Crean has been taking in a couple of football games as of late.
It's not the Hoosier coach has turned his attention to the gridiron from the hardwood. To the contrary, his interest in Hamilton Southeastern's football program is rooted in his interest in the basketball skills of one of its best players – Gary Harris.
While the 6'4" Harris is a highly-skilled wide receiver and safety who has been drawing recruiting interest from college football programs, it's on the basketball court where his star shines brightest. He's Scout.com's 15th-ranked player overall in the 2012 class and the second-ranked shooting guard, someone who is at the very top of Crean's wish list for the junior class.
"Coach Crean has been to two of his football games, they've been there to see him," Hamilton Southeastern Coach Brian Satterfield said. "Like everyone, they've been doing a good job recruiting him. They've been around. I've been on the phone talking to them here and there, and it's always great when he comes in and we have a chance to talk Xs and Os."
In addition to the talk about Xs and Os, Crean has also talked about the impact Harris can make if he opts to call Bloomington home in a couple of years. A versatile perimeter player who can play the 1, 2 or 3, the Hoosier coach thinks he'd be a perfect fit in a 2012 class that is already starting to take shape with the summer commitment of Broad Ripple's Ron Patterson.
"(Crean) talks about Gary being able to help the program get back to where it used to be," Satterfield said. "He thinks he's a guy who is special, someone who could make a major contribution right away."
Whether it's Bloomington or any of the other potential college destinations, there's little doubt Harris is an immediate impact caliber recruit. With two years of high school basketball remaining, Harris has already shown himself to be a very mature player for his age, someone who doesn't feel the need to dominate the action like many elite recruits.
"That's something that makes him special – he's not someone who's going to try to fill the stat sheet and see how many shots he can get up," Satterfield said. "He's going to be a great teammate and do what you ask him to do. He also takes pride in what he does defensively, and he's tremendously unselfish."
Those are traits that everyone has taken notice of during the past six months, as Harris has gone from a borderline top-100 player to the top-ranked player in the state of Indiana and a five-star recruit. With the attention has come a slew of scholarship offers, including IU, Michigan State, Ohio State, Louisville, Xavier, Illinois and Notre Dame.
Harris hasn't narrowed his search down to date, but that could be changing in the near future, according to Satterfield.
"I think he's getting closer to trying to narrow it down," said Satterfield. "I'm going to sit down with him this week or next week and have a discussion and see where the thought process is.
"We talked about a month ago, but there were some things we discussed with him, mom and dad and a few other people. I don't think he had put in the proper thoughts to some things that we were throwing at him. So we gave him a homework assignment to do. So we'll sit down this week or next week and touch base and see what his thoughts are and see if he's narrowing anything down, and where he wants to turn his focus."
Harris Ready to Narrow Things Down?
Peegs.com Top Stories
Haunted Hall of Hoops set for FridayIndiana will hold it's annual Haunted Hall of Hoops event this Friday.
Hoosier Newsstand, Oct. 24Get the latest articles on Indiana basketball, football and other sports in today's edition of the Hoosier Newsstand.
5-star Billy Preston IU visit recapFive-star class of 2017 6-foot-10 forward Billy Preston made an official visit to Indiana this weekend. "It was awesome." Why? See.
Peegs.comYesterday at 9:33 PM
Peegs Podcast: The Morning After NorthwesternIndiana couldn't get anything going offensively and never dug itself out of a hole in a 24-14 loss to Northwestern, but IU basketball saved the day with an exciting celebration at…
Peegs.comSaturday at 10:30 PM