High School basketball fans in Indiana are beginning to think that the 2012 class could be one of the finest groups to ever come from the tradition rich state. Many of the top prospects received high-major offers as freshmen, but this a year Gary Harris has turned into the breakout star from the city of Indianapolis.
Due to the fact that he missed most of the summer with an injury, Harris flew largely under the radar going into this year. However with people looking on, the Hamilton Southeastern (IN) High School standout did work.
At 6-foot-4 and 190 pounds, Harris has the size, athleticism, and skill to make an impact from the shooting guard position. Behind his strong play, Harris' team had a good season that recently came to an end in the sectional playoffs.
"We had a good season, but we lost in the playoffs," said Harris. "We should have gone further in the tournament. I think I played good, but I could have played better. At times I wasn't aggressive enough, and I know I need to be more aggressive."
Along the way during the season Harris opened up eyes of talent evaluators and college coaches alike. Now he is becoming one of the most talked about players in Indiana's loaded class. For Harris the talk of his game is nice, but it isn't a major concern.
"It's nice to hear, but I don't think much of it," said Harris. "I just go out there and play my game and I don't think too much about that stuff."
Xavier was the first school to offer Harris just before the season started, and since then numerous other schools have offered. Now his offer list includes Vanderbilt, Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, and IUPUI. Beyond those schools, Michigan State, Marquette, and Notre Dame are also showing him significant attention.
Harris' most recent unofficial visit was to East Lansing, Michigan on Sunday to check out the Spartans senior day game against the Michigan Wolverines. It was Harris' first chance to see the campus and he came away impressed.
"Oh man the environment was just crazy," said Harris. "Everyone was real hyped. They just played outstanding and got a blowout win."
One of the highlights for Harris was getting to sit down and talk to Spartans Head Coach Tom Izzo after the game.
"I've met him before," said Harris. "The presence he has when he walks in the room is unbelievable. He has so much respect from everybody, and you can tell he is a real good coach."
Previous to Michigan State, Harris took a visit to Xavier to check things out. He attended the Musketeers Elite Camp in June, but the game against Richmond was his first visit for a game.
"That was a real good trip," said Harris. "It was great. They got a big win against Richmond in double-overtime. It was just a great game to go to."
One of the things that appeals to Harris about Xavier is his relationship with the coaching staff. He says he has formed a close bond with assistant coach Travis Steele as well as head man Chris Mack.
"We have a real good relationship," said Harris. "I make sure to call Coach Steele once or twice a week. We are always in contact, and I talk to Coach Mack every now and then as well. I like the coaching staff a lot."
The visit prior to Xavier for Harris was to Vanderbilt. Harris saw the Commodores take on the Kentucky Wildcats, and the atmosphere in Nashville absolutely blew him away.
"I went to go see them play Kentucky, and it was an outstanding atmosphere," explained Harris of Vandy. "It was loud, it was real loud. Sometimes I couldn't even hear myself talk it was so loud. Unfortunately they didn't get the win, but it was a great experience."
At the moment Harris has no set timeframe for when he wants to make a decision, but he says he is looking for a school where he can thrive as a player on the court and a person off of it.