When Marquette coach Buzz Williams offered Sandburg's Malek Harris in April, it wasn't a casual throw-it-out-there offer. Williams and assistant coach Isaac Chew made Harris a high priority, hoping the 6-7 forward would be their first 2014 commitment.
That's exactly how it played out as Harris, who visited Marquette on Wednesday, gave Williams and Marquette a commitment.
Harris himself knew his trip to Marquette on Wednesday was different in comparison to other visits because he couldn't fall asleep on the car ride to Milwaukee. This was the first visit among several he had taken where Harris couldn't get any shut-eye during the ride to campus.
"I was thinking so much about Marquette and so excited I couldn't sleep," says Harris. "But Marquette has always stood out to me, and I felt like if everything was the way I expected it was going to be on the visit, I would commit."
There was a long list of suitors for Harris, including Purdue, Iowa, Northwestern, DePaul and Kansas State among other high-major programs. Williams and the Marquette staff, however, put the Golden Eagles out front, both with the relationship they built with Harris and showing how he would fit as a player.
"I love the coaching staff and have such a good relationship with them," says Harris.
Marquette is getting a player that fits the Buzz Williams recruiting profile and mold: a competitive, hard-nosed player with a non-stop motor. Harris admitted that helped in his decision.
"That was a big factor, because I was looking at a school and program where a lot of the players that have gone there and played there were a lot like me in the way they played," says Harris. "It was easy to envision and great to see the type of success those players have had. And the style of play is a great fit for me."
Harris brings versatility to the forward position, which Marquette has had so much success with in recent years. He makes plays in a variety of ways, always seems to be around the ball, is an above-average rebounder and can defend multiple positions with his size and length.
The multi-faceted senior, who impressed this spring with the Illinois Wolves with his advanced ballhandling skills and a warrior mentality, is now considered one of the top 100 prospects nationally in the Class of 2014
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