Class of 2012's Harris Is One to Watch

There are plenty of big names in the Class of 2012 in the state of Indiana, and one of the biggest is Hamilton Southeastern's Gary Harris. HSE Coach Brian Satterfield talks about his talented sophomore, IU's interest in him, and what makes him a special player...

Watching Hamilton Southeastern H.S. sophomore star Gary Harris didn't come easily for Tom Crean last Friday night.

The Hoosier coach made the trip to Avon to watch the 6'4" standout last Friday night, but it wasn't until the game's second half that Crean had an opportunity to focus in on the Class of 2012 target. That's because it was "travel night" for Hamilton Southeastern, which meant a slew of HSE students made the trip for the game. When they saw Crean in the stands, a lengthy line formed and Crean spent the game's first half signing autographs and getting pictures.

"Our AD went up and asked if he wanted something put up to keep people away," Hamilton Southeastern Coach Brian Satterfield said. "But he said, no, that's part of it. He finally got to watch the game in the second half."

What Crean ended up seeing was Harris score a team-high 14 points to lead HSE to a 55-49 road win. The victory was the sixth straight for a team that is now 11-2 overall and ranked No. 11 in Class 4A. It was also a performance that was comparable to what Harris has done most of this season for Satterfield's squad. A major contributor as a freshman a season ago, Harris is averaging 15.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.3 blocks and 3.2 steals for a team whose only losses have come against Fishers and No. 2 North Central.

He's quickly becoming one of the most heavily recruited players in the state from the sophomore class thanks to that productivity as well as some other traits that his coach says stand out.

"He's a special player not only on the court but also off the court," Satterfield said. "He's good in the classroom. From a basketball standpoint, he's good at paying attention, and he's very fundamentally sound. Whatever you ask him to do, he's going to do it.

"Those are some of the things that made him get the opportunity (to play) that he did as a freshman and what he's doing now, and also why I think a lot of colleges are showing him so much attention."

That attention has already resulted in one scholarship offer from Xavier, which did so last summer. Satterfield said from his discussions with other college coaches he senses that more offers will be coming soon once the college season begins to wind down and recruiting once again becomes the primary focus.

"I think a few are close," Satterfield said. "I've gotten indications they're going to, but they're just in the middle of their seasons right now."

Indiana could be one of those programs that is close. In addition to Crean's appearance on Friday, Satterfield said he talks with IU assistant coach Tim Buckley regularly and IU's interest is obvious.

"They're like a lot of other college coaches in that they talk a lot about his complete game," Satterfield said. "They especially like what he does on the defensive end. They love his fundamentals, his defensive abilities and his athleticism. That's what sticks out the most."

Versatility is another things that stands out about Harris, as Satterfield said he could envision him playing either the point guard or two guard position at the next level.

All of that adds up to a player who figures to get more and more attention as time goes on during the final 2 ½ years of his high school career. It's already to the point where major college coaches are regular attendees at Hamilton Southeastern's games, but Satterfield said his standout has handled the early attention well.

"It doesn't seem to faze him in any fashion," Satterfield said. "Once you get to know him, it doesn't surprise you. It's the way he is. He works at it, it puts forth great effort in everything he does, he's very respectfi; and does things the right way." Top Stories