Shown here blocking a shot on NC State's run to Sweet 16, Tyler Harris has decided to leave Raleigh after one year in favor of Providence. (Photo courtesy of Voodoo Five)
Slowly but surely, Ed Cooley is building a Big East championship contender just fifteen months into the job he took after a successful five years spent turning Fairfield University from a doormat into one of the MAAC's elite teams.
Shortly after finalizing a four-man recruiting class headlined by highly touted guard prospects Kris Dunn and Ricky Ledo, Cooley added yet another transfer to the Providence family yesterday when Tyler Harris announced his intent to join the Friars after a year at North Carolina State, where he helped lead the Wolfpack to the Midwest regional semifinals in head coach Mark Gottfried's first season at the helm in Raleigh. Harris turned down offers from UAB, Temple, Dayton and Providence's Big East rival South Florida to take his talents to the Ocean State, and will be a sophomore when he regains eligibility in 2013.
"He has developed a great relationship with Coach Cooley and Coach (Andre, Cooley's top assistant) LaFleur," said Harris' father, Torrel. "He believed in them and how they would utilize him to be a major contributor to the team. He looks forward to competing in the Big East."
Playing for Providence also provides Harris the opportunity to be closer to his Long Island home. The Dix Hills native comes from a great basketball family, following in the footsteps of his two siblings in the collegiate basketball ranks. Many will recall his older brother Tobias starring at Tennessee two years ago before leaving for the NBA after his freshman season. Tobias was drafted by the Charlotte Bobcats before being traded to Milwaukee on draft night, and sister Tesia just finished her senior season on a Sweet 16 team of her own at St. John's University after transferring from Delaware.
Tyler Harris becomes Cooley's third transfer to join Dunn, Ledo, Josh Fortune and Ian Baker in the coach's newest recruiting class. Cooley had already secured a commitment from former Arizona forward Sidiki Johnson during the season, and landed Wake Forest center Carson Desrosiers last month. Johnson will be eligible in December, while Desrosiers and Harris will officially come on board for the 2013-14 season. If all of these incoming players complete their eligibility, it is not inconceivable to think that Ed Cooley could possibly deliver the Friars' first Big East championship since 1994 in the near future.