Stevens a big reason recruit picks Butler

For most high school basketball recruits, the reasons they choose a particular college program are often obvious.

Does the program win? Does the coach have stability with the school? Is it in a good conference? Does it have a history of success in the postseason?

Those are almost always parts of the equation.

But Chris Harrison-Docks, a senior from Okemos, Mich., looked much more deeply into his recruitment pro- cess to help guide him in choosing to play for Butler University.

“I really like the way Coach Stevens conducts himself,” Harrison-Docks said. “I think everybody can take something away from how he carries himself.”

In many ways, Stevens and Harrison-Docks are similar. Both are fiercely competitive once the ball is tipped off. But off the court they both have a mellow — and humble — aura surrounding themselves.

“With all of the things that (Stevens) has going for himself, it would be easy for him to act differently and not uphold that character that he has,” Harrison-Docks said. “I can learn a lot from him. He can make me a better person and a better basketball player.”

With all that the 5-foot-11 point guard has going for himself, it would be easy for Harrison-Docks to act differently than he does. Earlier this week at the adidas Invitational in Indianapolis, he and his Michigan Mustangs team fell to a talented squad (New England Playaz), with the likes of Mike Krzyzewski (Duke), Rick Pitino (Louisville), and John Calipari (Kentucky) in attendance.

But even in defeat, Harrison-Docks was providing vocal support to his teammates, working hard at both ends of the floor, and making an effort to get his teammates involved offensively.

The big-name coaches were at the game to see Kaleb Tarcewski, a talented 7-footer from Southborough, Mass., not Harrison-Docks.

But that doesn’t mean the 2012 Michigan Mr. Basketball candidate didn’t have a number of successful programs pursue him until he chose Butler in April. Harrison-Docks considered Stanford (until he watched in person the Cardinal get destroyed by Butler in Hinkle Fieldhouse last December), Utah and Boston College.

But he bristles at people who ask why he wanted to play for the Horizon League program.

“If it were any other program — UCLA, Kentucky or UConn — that went to the national championship game twice, would you turn it down?” Harrison-Docks asked. “The answer is no. So why do people ask about me going to Butler? Yes, I am going to Butler. They stand for everything that I want to represent.”

As the son of a former player at Kentucky (Chris Harrison), Harrison-Docks has a grasp on what basketball is like at the highest level, and he envisions that occurring with Stevens and Butler.

“I think (Stevens) is going to turn Butler into a (similar program to) Duke,” Harrison-Docks said. “And I want to be a part of that.” –

By Tom Davis
The News-Sentinel, Fort Wayne, Ind.