Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Torrel Harris is now in the unique position of having two sons whose coaches are out the door.
Tennessee fired head coach Bruce Pearl on Monday, five days after N.C. State coach Sidney Lowe resigned.
Tobias Harris just completed his freshman season at Tennessee and Tyler Harris has signed a National Letter of Intent to play at N.C. State next season.
“Two coaches get fired, you don’t want that to happen but what can you do,” Torrel, who lives with his family in Dix Hills, N.Y., said Monday by phone. “I always have a belief if you’re a person that walks with God, you’re at where God wants you to be. For Tyler and Tobias, God has them where he wants them to be. We’re all in this world for a purpose. My kids are God-fearing so we approach it as it comes.”
Torrel said Tobias, who averaged 15.3 points and 7.3 rebounds this season, would definitely test the NBA waters.
“Yeah, he’s gonna test the waters,” Torrel said. “He’s one of the best in the country. Why wouldn’t he?”
The deadline to enter the NBA Draft is April 24. Players have just 14 days to test the draft process, meaning he would have until May 7 to withdraw his name.
“He’s played terrifically. He has played great down the stretch,” Pearl told The Associated Press before he was fired. “He’s a professional at a very, very young age because of his discipline, his toughness, his mental focus, his preparation.”
Harris himself said it wasn’t on his mind before the season ended.
“It’s not really on my mind because I’m here to win games, and that’s what I’m focused on,” Harris told The AP. “When people bring it up, I kind of just shy away from it and tell them I’m just focusing on the season, which I am. After this season’s over, that’s definitely something that’s going to be worth thinking about.”
After Tennessee lost to Michigan, 75-45, in an NCAA Tournament West Regional second-round game, Harris accused his teammates of “quitting.”
“Well, we just didn’t play with any heart out there,’’ he said. “I mean, Michigan came out and made shots, and we just did a terrible job of trying to cover them. And on the offensive end we rushed too many shots and basically just quit.’’
Pearl was fired Monday after posting a record of 145-61 in six seasons.
He ran afoul of the NCAA when he first lied to, and later admitted to, the NCAA that he provided false and misleading information regarding a BBQ in which he hosted two junior recruits at his home in the summer of 2008 in violation of NCAA rules.
“Bruce is a good person,” Torrel said Monday.
As for Tyler, a 6-8 senior who averaged 17 points and five rebounds at St. Benedict’s Prep, Torrel said his son would maintain his commitment to N.C. State.
“We’re staying put to see who the coach is,” Torrel said. “We met with [athletic director] Debbie Yow. I believe in the vision that Debbie Yow wants to bring to N.C. State back to the Top 10.
“She’s going to bring in someone who’s a winner who’s going to bring N.C. State to the Top 10 and Tyler is a part of that. She broke it all down and I’m definitely going to be rolling with her. She’s gonna get it done.”
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.