November 14, 2012

Denver East keeps an eye on Wyoming

As the early signing period comes to a close for 2013 basketball prospects, the 2014 recruiting season is well underway. Watching the festivities for Signing Day had Denver East prospect, Ronnie Harrell, thinking of what might be a year from now.

"I like to think about it," Harrell said Wednesday. "It is amazing to think how fast that comes up for me and my teammates. It is almost here for us (the class of 2014) and we have to stay on top of everything so we can have that day too."

Harrell is unique story out of Denver where he averaged just 6.4 points and 1.3 boards per game for Coach Rudy Carey's 20-4 Angel squad a year ago. Between his junior year of basketball and his summer season with the Chauncey Billups Elite AAU squad, Harrell had a growth spurt pushing him to 6-foot-6. He also saw his game take huge steps forward, which garnered him attention from college coaches and scholarship offers from Wyoming, Montana State and Northern Colorado.

"Really, towards the end of the school year I was working out with my cousin and talking to my cousin and Chauncey and taking it more serious and realizing the college and playing time isn't given. I am working out everyday and lifting, just trying to get better," Harrell said. "I was still shooting a lot, but this summer I really worked on my handles and getting to the rim a lot."

Harrell is known as a pure shooter and he said he will be asked to use that specialty this winter to keep defenses from collapsing into the lane against four-star recruit and East teammate Dominique Collier as well as fellow prospects Javon Griffin and Tyre Robinson.

"I am just focused on playing my role," Harrell said. "We have so many great guards and penetrators that I need to play my role. Last year a lot of teams wouldn't come out on us and would pack the paint. I am working on keeping the defense honest and keeping the lanes open for JJ and Dom."

While basketball season is just getting underway, Harrell is also keeping his options open where recruiting is concerned. Harrell came to Laramie for a visit in September and liked what he saw.

"(Wyoming) said I could come in and play and really develop with them," Harrell said. "It is close to home, so I really like that about them. I really liked the visit. It was crazy. The campus was big, it wasn't what I expected. We went to one of their practice and it was very intense. I liked the way the coaches were teaching during the practice and let me know what will be going on. We also went to the football game and I really liked that. I liked to see how the support the crowd had for the college."

Harrell said he is going to try to visit Gonzaga sometime in December as well as Northern Colorado. He said he is also talking to San Francisco and South Florida.

"I am really just keeping my options open and waiting to see how everything is going to turn out this season," Harrell said when asked about a favorite.

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