Maryland Heating Up Pursuit of Four-Star Darren Harris After Second Visit

After securing commitments from three local four-star recruits in the 2023 class over the last three months, Maryland shows no signs of slowing. On Tuesday, the entire staff played a part in hosting another 4-star prospect from the DMV in 2024 Paul VI shooting guard Darren Harris. It was Harris’ second unofficial visit to College Park, with this one being much more in-depth as the Terps look to prioritize the sharpshooter in what some believe could be a historically stacked local 2024 class.

“[It] was great, the whole staff definitely showed a lot of love and I felt like a big priority for them. I learned a lot about the program, along with the university and campus.”

With other high-major programs such as Duke and Virginia Tech vying for his services, it’s a prudent move for Maryland to prioritize him early. At 6-foot-6, he has ideal positional size to go along with a unique ability to catch, turn, and shoot accurately off of movement from deep distances in nearly one continuous motion. Shooting will always reign supreme, and that’s exactly what Harris majors in.

As a sophomore, Harris was a key piece to Paul VI’s WCAC championship play during the 2021-22 regular season. After healing from a broken wrist that cost him the last six games of the year, he returned to play a year up for a Team Takeover 17U squad that finished as the runner-up of the Nike EYBL Peach Jam. Harris averaged 10 points per game, while shooting 35.4 3P% on 6.2 attempts in 23 games during their run. Uncoincidentally, he competes alongside recent Maryland-commit  DeShawn Harris-Smith for both PVI and Takeover. It’s no secret that PVI is loaded, and he expects a lot from them this coming season.

“We have huge expectations, but we’re ready to accept the challenge. We have a lot of big names locally, and we know we’re going to get everybody’s best shot. I can’t wait for the season to start back up, it’s going to be special.”

The value a player like Harris provides extends well beyond shooting the basketball. For instance, just his threat to shoot can shift a defense, and his defender is often forced to hug him far away from the rim, creating spacious driving lanes for his teammates to operate. Further, when teams focus on running him off the 3-point line, he is adept at putting it on the floor to attack closeouts and get to his midrange spots for routine pull-ups. He’s accustomed to a fast-paced style of play, as both PVI and Takeover are known for pushing the pace on offense and applying heavy defensive pressure to speed up its opponents. Wisely, Harris has already held discussions with Head Coach Kevin Willard regarding his fit within the first year coach’s vision for the team’s style of play.

“He said they’re going to play up-tempo, which fits me well because I play up-tempo with PVI and Takeover. So it will be a lot of the same [approach].”

As we move into the fall season, look for Maryland to remain active with Harris’ recruitment. We’ll keep you updated. Also, stay tuned in the upcoming months for a thorough evaluation by Point Guard Eyes on his skillset, feel for the game, IQ, and more.

Darren Harris is rated a four-star prospect and a 94 overall by On3, sitting as the 56th-best prospect in the 2024 class.

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Unit Grades: Maryland 31, Buffalo 10