Looks Like University Of Illinois - Sencire Harris

Jul 14, 2021

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See I'm almost at the point where I just want a moratorium on verbals. I have four more of these to write and then I'm caught up so let's not make it four more by tomorrow.

(It was immediately upon writing this that Robert realized he's suggesting that if top-100 national recruit Miles McVey wanted to choose Illinois football tomorrow, he was openly suggesting that he wait so that Robert can write through the pile on his desk first. A pile that began in April and has not been reduced to zero since. Robert regrets the error.)

Harris committed to Illinois while I was on vacation. Since returning, I've been plowing through other things. So I know nothing about him. I looked up his ranking, I've occasionally seen a few photos and Twitter video clips come across my timeline, but that's it. So this will be one of those posts where we can learn about him together in real time.

Let's start with rankings. 247 has him at #93 in the 2022 class. Rivals has him at #59, and the little arrow next to his ranking says he dropped 10 spots, so he must have been #49 in their rankings before that. ESPN does not have him in their top-100. He's on their point guard list (is he really a point guard? For the last 10 days I thought we landed an off-guard), and the lowest ranked point guard who is still in their top-100 is #17, and Harris is #31, so that would come out to around... 140th or so? Add those three together and average them and you can see why he's right at #100 in the Composite rankings.

Rivals and 247 both keep ranking history charts now, and there's a bit of concern there about how he's dropped. Over the last 15 months on Rivals he's dropped from 34 to 38 to 49 to 51 to 59. And his 247 ranking (not his Composite, but their ranking) dropped from 59 to 73 to 83 to 93. He's still a top-100 player on both rankings, but dropping in both is always a bit of a red flag. (That's a "maybe he's not a top-50 player" red flag, not a "is he really a high-major recruit?" red flag.)

Offer list is... OK so this is really weird. ESPN lists one offer: Illinois. Rivals lists two offers: Illinois and Maryland. And 247 lists only 4 offers: Illinois, Maryland, Xavier, and Hampton. So, uh, what's the deal there? This is someone ranked 34 by Rivals and 59 by 247 around the time the pandemic hit. I know there weren't visits between then at June of this year, and it looks like he visited Illinois and then verballed two weeks later, but why so few offers for a recruit who was in the top-60 nationally as a high school sophomore?

Doesn't really matter I guess - just another data point. I checked his Twitter, and it's an account that goes back to 2017, but I don't see any other offer or visit tweets besides the Illinois tweets. Perhaps he went back and deleted everything when he committed?

Going to his timeline on his 247 profile, I guess he did make more visits. It shows Maryland offering at the end of May, then a visit to Xavier on June 13th and Illinois on June 15th, with both schools offering, followed by a verbal on July 3rd. So maybe we can chalk all of this up to Covid. No visits, no AAU, no nothing, so his initial ranking based on his sophomore year high school play went into the freezer for 15 months. Visits are allowed again, he gets offers from Maryland, Xavier, and Illinois, visits Xavier and Illinois, and commits to Illinois. I can probably toss my "what's with the offers here?" red flag in the trash.

Now we should go watch some film together. I'll just go find his most recent YouTube video, embed it immediately below, and then we can watch it together.

(Note: skip the first 45 seconds of this video - it's a bunch of slow-mo stuff from warmups. The action starts at the 48 second mark. Harris is 24 in yellow.)

I have notes.

  • Note to Tim Sinclair. Can you add "Sencire, chill out" to your PA repertoire in the future? "Three points, Illinois" is cool and all but "Sencire, chill out" is better.
  • Lefties are the new righties.
  • I hope the Harden shuffle step comes over to college soon because Harris shows a great "shuffle to gain distance" move here. It's four steps but whatever.
  • Great length on display here. That's a basketball frame.
  • I saw Adam Miller play as a sophomore in high school and this is very close to that. Miller was (and is) more skilled, and Miller has a much bigger frame (especially now), but sophomore-in-HS Adam Miller's game looked a lot like junior-in-HS Sencire Harris' game. That's not to say Harris is a top-35 recruit or anything. Just comparing games. Let's call him Adam Miller lite?

I watched a few more clips and I feel the same. Let me make a gif of an Adam Miller lite thing I saw:

Gets the steal, uses his frame to hold off the defender, makes the layup. See, it's not just "they're both lefties" - there really are other comps.

(It's because they're both lefties.)

I watched a few more clips and I can see why he burst into the rankings inside the top-100. Fluid, long guard with a good handle. Made some really great passes in the highlights I watched of his team's run to the Ohio State title. Also of note: the player receiving a lot of those passes (Malaki Branham, 2021 Ohio State recruit) appears to be an absolute monster. I went to look him up and yep - #34 in the 2021 class. He's going to be a massive headache for the Big Ten. Looks like that Baylor guard who destroyed us.

Anything else here? I think we've covered it all. Offers are weird, but I think I can chalk that up to Covid (at least I hope I can chalk that up to Covid). Won the state title playing with a top-35 senior, recruiting really began in May, three high major offers (and two visits) in June, and then a decision. We need guards (especially guards with a handle), and he appears to be just that.

For Tom Cruises, maybe I should do this one by fitting him in with last year's recruits. I had Podziemski with four Cruises, Goode with 3.5, and Melendez with 3.25. I snuck a peak at Jayden Epps' film and I'm pretty sure I'm going with 3.75 there. So where does Harris fit in there? Right about how I felt about Melendez and Goode. So do I go 3.5 or 3.25? Just because of the dropping ranking on both 247 and Rivals, I'm gonna go 3.25.

Sencire Harris - Three and one-quarter Tom Cruises.


orangejulius on July 14, 2021 @ 07:09 PM

You can make a great living in the 70-120 range, especially with a talented kid who is willing to share the ball. As long as he doesn't drop much further, you have to be really happy with this recruit. What happened in the Weber and Groce years; we would invariably shoot for the stars, strike out, and then end up with a guy like Khalid Lewis starting 18 games.

Eagle on July 15, 2021 @ 08:51 PM

That's a really strange recruiting video. Shows him getting his shot blocked, and earlier blocking a shot then not sticking with the guy and getting scored on, among other things I would not put in a video. Not impressed.

FatButcher45 on July 15, 2021 @ 10:14 PM

This is isn't a recruiting video, it's a game highlight video that one of the Courtside Films/Ballislife kind of people put together. Not meant to show him without flaws, but show what happened in the game overall. Lots of good building blocks from the look of it, but with guys in this range you won't always get blown away by a single game.

Duce20 on July 19, 2021 @ 08:59 AM

This kid is more Brandon Paul than Adam Miller to me. More athletic than Miller.

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