One of the favorite players NCAA bloggers like to cite as someone deserving consideration for national media attention is Santa Barbara swingman Alex Harris. Its not hard to figure out whyhis stats last year were extremely impressive across the board. 21 points per game, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 48% shooting from the field, 46% from behind the arc, 7 free throw attempts per contest he looks like one of the best swingmen in the country on paper actually. Thats why we went out of our way this summer to acquire two game tapes of hisboth against fellow Big West powerhouse Cal-State Fullerton, where we could see him against one of our favorite mid-major prospects from last year in Bobby Brown. In addition, Harris played a game this weekend at Stanford, giving us yet another opportunity to watch him and decide for ourselves.
Harris definitely has some really nice things going for him. For starters, hes a legit 6-6 shooting guard, blessed with outstanding shooting mechanics. He can knock down shots spotting up from the wing or more importantly pulling smoothly off the dribble, even from behind the 3-point line. He also has a really nice feel for the game, looking unselfish getting his teammates involved, showing nice court-vision, and solid shot-selection for a mid-major go-to guy. There is no question that hes going to get plenty of looks from NBA teams, in the form of workouts and very likely an invite to Portsmouth and possibly the NBA pre-draft camp once the season is over. We do wonder whether he has what it takes to eventually get himself over the top, though.
For one, Harris is not a great athlete by any means, noticeably lacking a great first step or the explosiveness needed to finish strong in traffic. He has a tough time getting by his man to create slashing opportunities for himself, making you wonder how much versatility hell be able to translate over to his game at the next level. His team likes to get him touches in the paint to post up his man, if only to allow him more scoring opportunities than hed be able to get stranded by himself out on the perimeter.
Harris had 18 points on 7-18 shooting from the field against Stanford in a 20-point loss on Sunday. Its only one game, but it seemed like he was a bit overmatched against the fairly average guards the Cardinal threw at him. Hell have another big chance to impress on a big stage in an almost impossible matchup on December 22nd, when his team visits North Carolina.