BY JEREMY HOECK
Yet another previous recruiting connection has landed the University of South Dakota men’s basketball team a recruit for the 2014-15 season.
Sekou Harris, a 6-foot point guard from South Plains College in Texas, told the Press & Dakotan on Sunday that he committed to USD the previous night.
Harris, a native of Plainfield, New Jersey, said he had originally been recruited by USD head coach Craig Smith while Smith was an assistant at Colorado State. Shortly after Smith was hired at USD in April, Harris’ phone rang.
“They want me to be that leader and try to win games and get to the (NCAA) tournament,” Harris said. “I’m very competitive; I don’t like to lose.”
Harris, who said he will sign his letter of intent on Tuesday, will become the fourth 2014-15 addition for the Coyotes. He will join fellow transfer Tre Burnette (Williston State), as well as incoming freshmen Logan Power (Lincoln, Neb.) and Dejon Davis (Bloomington, Minn.).
USD hasn’t officially announced which players will not be returning next season, but Harris said Smith’s message to him was simple.
“He said that he needed a point guard that was fast and could be a leader,” Harris said.
From there, Harris spoke with his family and committed over the phone to USD assistant Eric Peterson on Saturday night.
Harris said he had also been in contact with Texas-Arlington, Louisiana-Lafayette and Maine.
“It was tough. I wanted to make sure I was making the right decision, for my family and myself,” he said. “I wanted to put myself in a position to win.”
Harris spent his freshman season at Division I Fairleigh Dickinson, and averaged 16.9 minutes in 22 games. He then transferred to South Plains College, located in Levelland, Texas.
In one year with South Plains, Harris helped lead the Texans to a 29-6 record and an NJCAA Elite Eight appearance. He played in all 35 games, averaging 6.7 points, 4.8 assists and 3.2 rebounds.
Harris isn’t the only South Plains player to land with a D-I school. Head coach Steve Green also sent players to Ole Miss, Hofstra, Tennessee Tech and Wright State.
Asked about his familiarity with the Summit League, Harris referenced former South Dakota State standout Nate Wolters, who is now with the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks.
“It’s a quiet conference, but it’s very tough,” Harris said. “Every team is really solid. You never know what team is going to step up and win it.”
Of his new school, Harris said Smith is trying to “bring a new culture to the program.”
Part of that new culture could be a new style, Harris said. Smith had previously said he wants to utilize an up-tempo system on both ends of the floor.
“I like to get the ball in transition, use my speed and athleticism to my advantage,” Harris said. “I like to get to every spot on the floor, and make my presence felt.