BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - 2012 shooting guard Gary Harris of Hamilton Southeastern in Fishers, Ind. may not have an offer from the Michigan State coaching staff yet, but if he keeps performing like he did in Friday's opening night game of the Adidas May Classic an offer may not be long in coming.
Playing D 3 Heat, a team with several of the 2012 players in the Indianapolis area, Harris pumped in 20 points and led his D 3 Heat squad to an 83-76 victory over MBA Select. Harris, along with a number of his teammates on the D3 Heat, are eligible to play at the 16-and-under level. They are instead playing up a grade level and thriving against 17-and-under opponents.
Harris is an explosive two-guard who can score in a variety of ways. He averaged 15 points per game as a sophomore last winter and he has an offer list of 11 schools to date with more sure to come.
Among the schools that have offered Harris are Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Xavier, Butler and Cincinnati.
Coached by Shawn Bledsoe, a former assistant of current Spartan assistant coach Mike Garland when he was the head coach at Cleveland State, Harris has attracted the attention of the entire Spartan coaching staff. Spartan coaches were on hand for a workout Harris had in mid April at his high school and Bledsoe pegs the Spartans' interest as high in his explosive two-guard who threw down three highlight reel dunks on Friday night.
"I think they (Michigan State) have a high level of interest (in Harris)," said Bledsoe. "Tom's (Izzo) been down to see him now, coach Garland, Mark Montgomery, guys that are good friends of mine have been down and there is a lot of interest. I think they are trying to schedule a date to get him up and I think once the date is scheduled to get him up I think there's a chance he will get an offer."
Joining Harris on the D 3 Heat and at Hamilton Southeastern is 5-9 sophomore point guard Jacobby Bledsoe who is also planning on making the trip to East Lansing with Harris.
"They are going to make a trip up there together sometime in early June," coach Bledsoe said.
While almost half the Big Ten has offered, Harris has Michigan State high on his list.
"It's a high interest, I like the school a lot," Harris said. "I like coach Izzo, I like the program and it's a great school and I'm very interested."
The Spartan coaching staff had an up-close look at Harris in mid April when they came down for a workout at the school in front of a number of other coaches. "Coach Izzo came down and I had a chance to talk to him and coach Garland and coach Montgomery," Harris said. "They said they liked what I was doing and to just keep improving."
Harris lists no early favorites. He is currently listening to what schools have to say to him and evaluating each program on their merits. Michigan State's habit of getting to the Final Four is impressive the 2012 wing.
"I like that they seem to always win," Harris said. "They always win games. Izzo has been to six of the last 12 Final Fours, I mean, that's enough said right there."