Cougs offer Chelan shooter; Bennett lurking?

IT'S HARDER TO draw college attention at a smaller school, even when you're the Class 1A player of the year and average 26 points per game. Playing on the AAU stage brings more attention, but the coach at Washington State has had him in his sights for a while now. The 6-6 guard out of Chelan now has a crimson offer. Could Tony Bennett come calling too?

Ken Bone has been looking hard at Joe Harris since long before he arrived at WSU from Portland State. So too was Tony Bennett before he left for Virginia.

"Coach Bone had been following him throughout last summer," says Chelan coach Joe Harris, who is Joe's father. "And then throughout the season a couple of his assistant coaches had followed a couple of our games and the state tournament.

"Ironically, Washington State had been on Joe after the state tournament. Coach Bennett had come to Chelan ... When coach Ben Johnson stayed with Ken, that just kind of put all the pieces together."

Bennett might not be done recruiting Harris either at Virginia.

"I got a message from Joe this morning and he said he had just talked to coach Bennett this morning. So the wheels are beginning to turn," said the elder Harris.

A VERBAL COMMITMENT looks likely to come later this summer, said his father.

"That's one thing we've talked with coach Bone about," he said. "Joe would like to finish up his school (year) and he'd like to be able to play nearly all the way through his Friends of Hoops (AAU) season this summer and then get on with it.

"He's followed coach Bone for a long time. Ken has spoken at a clinic that I've had here in Chelan so Joe has known him for a number of years. He followed him very (closely) at Portland State. He thinks very highly of coach Bone."

In turn, Washington State seemingly thinks very highly of his ability to can the jumper from long- and mid-range. Harris also has the ability to put the ball on the floor.

"The one thing, if you've followed Ken and his coaching, they love to shoot and Joe can knock it down," said the elder Harris. "He's got a great perimeter game. That's the one thing they liked. He's nearly 6-6 now and he can handle the ball extremely well, he plays point guard for us and plays some two-guard.

"They're really excited about the fact he's a guy who can shoot, fits their scheme and he's developed a little mid-range jumper off the dribble that's quite a complement to being able to knock it down from the perimeter."

THE YOUNGER HARRIS had an outstanding tournament this past weekend in Atlanta said his dad, building on his emergence in this past season's state tournament.

"I think Joe is seeing the recruiting process has started to really heat up especially after he had an outstanding state tournament and season. And for him, that was stuff he had done all year long but (there) it was just on a bigger stage...he's been the same player but now it's on a bigger stage.

In addition to Washington State, Harris holds offers from San Diego State and Portland. Washington, Gonzaga, BYU, Oregon State and a host of others have been showing increasing interest this spring, said his father.

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