Tobias Harris Commanding A lot of Attention

It was nearly 10 months ago that SOR profiled Tobias Harris, and a lot has happened since then. The young man from Long Island, now a rising junior, has seen his stock continue to rise and the offers continue to pour in. When we first spoke, it was obvious RU was a serious contender for his future services. SOR once again spoke with his dad Torrel to see if RU has continued to hold its ground.

When this article is published, it will be at least the 39th article about Tobias Harris that will be in the Scout database. That's an awful lot of literature already on a young man who's just barely entered the summer between his sophomore and junior years of high school. This should not be a surprise, however, as it's obvious that Tobias Harris is one the best high school basketball players in America, regardless of class.

Even if one has never seen him play, the offers he has already received should serve as empirical proof of that. In addition to RU, Harris has been offered by UConn, Indiana, Maryland, St John's, Louisville, and Marquette. After attending elite camps recently at West Virginia, Virginia, and Texas, a scholarship was offered by each of those schools. It's only logical to assume that more will be coming, as Tobias will be a busy young man this summer.

As you're reading this, Harris is in Philadelphia for the Reebok camp at Philadelphia U. Then it will be down to Augusta for the Peach Jam, and then off to Orlando for the AAU Super Showcase and Nationals. And that's all just in July. In August, he'll be attending elite camps at Florida, Wake Forest, Syracuse, and UConn. Once again, expect those offers to keep coming in.

"Unofficial visits are nice, you get a chance to speak with the coaches and hear their philosophy", said Torrell, "but they also tend to put a positive spin on everything when you're there. Elite camps are good because you get to see how a coach may actually run his practice". As for his son's recruitment, Torrel said "We're just going with the flow. I just want Tobias to play. I'll focus more on handling things now".

Indeed, Torrel said that for now Tobias hasn't thought that much yet of an eventual destination. "Right now we're just following everybody. We just want to get a feel for how Tobias might fit in with each place, and how they can help him get to the NBA. After the winter, we'll try to narrow it down to five schools". Right now, he said, "it's like putting the pieces of a puzzle together".

So where does all this leave Rutgers? Back when I spoke with Torrel last September, he said that "Rutgers is going to be there. They've been there the longest already". Has anything changed since then? "Absolutely not", he said. In fact, it seems like the recent recruiting successes RU has had have definitely not gone unnoticed by the elder Harris. "It definitely does seem like they are going to get it done", he said.

He went on: "The Big East is a very tough conference. We've been to a lot of Big East schools, and all the coaches have their own vision for how they want to have success. It really seems like they are on the right track, and are going to succeed according to their vision. Tobias and I both like the school". He said when the time finally comes for Tobias to make a decision, that "it will be a tough call. Tobias would like a chance to play for a national championship".

For now, it seems like Torrel has changed slightly what Tobias is primarily working on to improve his individual game. Last year when we spoke, the primary emphasis appeared to be on offense; shooting 3,000 jumpers a day and needing to make 1,000. Although he still needs to hit 1,000 a day (perhaps he's been able to reduce the attempts needed to hit his daily total), this summer the emphasis appears to be on conditioning and agility - specifically as it pertains to playing defense.

"I have Tobias taking agility, speed, and conditioning classes", he said. "He has definitely needed to get a lot quicker in order to guard 2's and 3's at the next level. From what I've seen the last two weeks, it's working. He's improving tremendously". Torrel said that once his height is established (Tobias is currently 6'7 and may reach 6'9 before he's done – he's still only 15), it will become clearer what his future role will be, but he said that his son can play four positions.

So for now, SOR will continue to keep track of this very gifted and hard-working young man. In addition to the various elite camps that Tobias has attended, he was also at the recent Rutgers elite camp, and the experience was quite positive. It's also worth noting that as part of the whirlwind of activity that father and son will be on this summer, the month of August will also include a very special stop for the RU program.

"In August, Tobias and I will be taking an unofficial visit to Rutgers, added Torrel. "Both Coach Hill and Coach Carter are honorable men, and that's very important. They are not going to be lying to you. We will sit down with them and the rest of the staff and discuss what they feel Tobias' role will be within the program. We haven't done that yet".

It's safe to say that that visit has all the potential to be one of the more significant and consequential events in the programs' recent history.

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