"We're starting to take these final visits to the schools now," Torrel Harris said. "We went to Syracuse this past weekend. It was good. Tobias got to hang out with their team and go to the football game. He got to spend quality time speaking with the coaches and it went pretty good."
Last week, Harris narrowed his list down to seven programs: Kentucky, Syracuse, Louisville, Georgia Tech, West Virginia, Maryland and Tennessee. Harris will make five official visits and take unofficial visits to the other two. Harris didn't specify which four programs would receive his son's remaining official visits.
"Syracuse is one of the seven," Harris said. "Tobias wants to take all seven visits and after that he wants to make a decision. We're treating them all the same. We'll probably get everything in by November. We'd like to make a commitment by November. We'd like to get the process out of the way before his high school season."
Harris plans to visit Kentucky for the Wildcats' Midnight Madness and is working on setting up his other visits.
"We're working on the next visit now," Harris said. "He's playing in the IS8 tournament in New York City this weekend so sometime this week we'll schedule the next one."
Harris said they haven't finalized a date for a visit to Louisville.
Several factors will help Harris make a decision.
"Style of play is very important," said Harris. "The coaching staff is important. The relationships – how he gets along with the teammates there, how the chemistry, how they bond – that's important. And Tobias wants to play the point-forward position on the team and be able to handle to ball. Those are the main factors."
How does Louisville fit into the mix?
"One of the reasons we like Louisville is Rick Pitino," Harris said. "He's good at working with point-forwards. So that's a plus. His style of play is also a plus because Tobias likes to run and press. We look at Pitino as a coach and how he can help a player improve and help make a player an exceptional NBA player."
Both of Pitino's starting forwards last season were selected in the NBA Draft lottery this summer. Of particular interest to Harris is how the Cardinals used 6'9 Earl Clark.
"He's gotten a whole lot of guys to the NBA going back to Kentucky," Harris said. "It's great that Earl Clark was able to handle the ball and create as a point-forward. All that's good, but we don't look at what he did with Earl Clark or Terrence Williams. We look at Pitino's overall record as a coach and him being a great teacher."
In the end, Harris' comfort-level with his future teammates and coaches will be the deciding factor.
"All seven schools pretty much offer the same thing," said Harris. "That's why we picked them. All the coaches are great. What's it's going to come down to is how he gets along with the teammates – the guys he's going to go to war with. Are they on the same page to win or are some of them just thinking about the NBA? These are the guys he's going to be around twenty-four hours a day – his family away from home. I think that's going to be a real critical factor."