April 19, 2012
Ray Harper has his first recruit since being named the full-time head coach at WKU.
Wednesday, Otero Junior College point guard Brandon Harris signed his national letter of intent to play for the Hilltoppers this fall.
The 6-foot-1, 175-pound Harris scored 10.4 points a game for Otero his sophomore season, helping the Rattlers win a school-record 30 games and advance to the National Junior College Athletic Association Elite Eight.
Harris told WBKO Wednesday night the strong tradition of winning at WKU played a large role in choosing the Hilltoppers.
"It's Western Kentucky. It's a big name in basketball," said Harris. "That's one thing that was really big for me."
Harris was also impressed with current Hilltopper players and their desire to see him come to the Hill. He specifically mentioned O'Karo Akamune, Teeng Akol, and especially George Fant as the ones who pressed Harris to pick WKU.
"The players did a really good job recruiting me," said Harris. "They would say 'Brandon, we need you here.' It's one thing for a coach to want you, it's another thing for players to like you."
Harris selected the Hilltoppers over Nebraska-Omaha and Oral Roberts. He also received offers from Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Utah State, and Wright State, among others. Nebraska-Omaha is new to Division-I, but Harris strongly considered the Mavericks because they were the first program to recruit him.
Along with his 10.4 points per game this season, he also averaged 5.4 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.5 steals.