June 24, 2012

Harris has loud finish at Izzo Shootout

EAST LANSING - Steve Majerle turned Rockford into a Class A basketball power during his 14 years as head coach.

The veteran basketball coach is looking for similar success at Grand Rapids Christian, which went 20-5 and made a run to the quarterfinals of the Class A tournament in 2011-2012.

When Majerle won a state championship at Rockford in 2003, he had an experienced team headlined by a D-1 point guard in Michael Reddell (Cleveland State, Western Michigan) who was a clutch shooter and a dynamic leader.

Majerle will also have D-1 talent to work with during his first year at Christian.

Point guard Drake Harris, who is ranked No. 46 player in the junior class by Rivals.com, is considered the top in-state basketball prospect for 2014. Eagles' big man Dahron Scott is also a D-1 talent who will get serious high major looks if he continues to improve at the rate he has during the past 12 months.

"This team has talent and a guys are playing pretty good individually," Majerle said. "What we need to do is learn how to play as a team. When I came in there was a sense of entitlement. They need to learn how to work together and roles need to be defined. If these guys learn how to play as a team, we can be pretty good."

Majerle saw growth from his ballclub in the handful of games they played on Saturday at the Tom Izzo Spartan Shootout.

"I didn't think that we looked very good early," Majerle said. "We weren't talking. There was very little leadership. Guys were trying to do things on their own. But as the games progressed, you could see us talking more and playing more as a team. Don't get me wrong, we have a long way to go but we got better through the course of the day and that was encouraging."

Grand Rapids Christian fell in the Elite Eight of bracket play to Ft. Wayne North Side, which built a substantial lead over the Eagles in the first half. Trailing by double digits in the second half, Christian looked to Harris for a spark.

The 6-foot-5, 180-pound combo guard responded by scoring 10 points against a North Side ballclub led by rising 2015 point guard Sean McGee.

"I took the job at Christian a short time ago, but I can already see that Drake is a tremendous talent," Majerle said. "He has some things to learn, but we are going to get through that and he is a great talent to work with. He is definitely a very good player."

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