A.T.T.A.C.K. Athletics Workout May 26, 2009 Interview:
Out of all the players here, Paul Harris may have left the best impression on us relative to our expectations going in. Harris is incredibly impressive from a physical standpoint first and foremost, boasting a chiseled frame, strong athleticism and extremely long arms, but he also looked pretty good from a skills standpoint as well.
Harris has been working quite a bit on his shooting mechanics over the past few weeks with shooting coach Tim Sullivan, and the results were fairly impressive from what we were able to see. He made shots at a pretty good rate (much better than we thought he would at least), both spotting up and off the dribble. While his ball-handling skills looked improvable, itís pretty safe to say that no one is going to sign him for what he does on the offensive end of the floor.
Defensively is where Harris really shined, showing absolute lock-down ability on anyone he was asked to guard, and really making his presence felt with his combination of toughness and tenacity. The theme of this yearís NBA playoffs for us probably is just how incredibly physical the games are, and if there was any player that embodied that spirit in this gym, it was Harris. Mike Procopio compares him to the likes of Tony Allen and DeShawn Stevenson, and after seeing him in action in this setting, it wasnít hard to see why.
It will be interesting to see what the reaction is to Harris once he starts making the rounds for private workouts. Itís not tough to see some NBA coach falling in love with what he could bring to practice day in and day out, and the success of players like Dahntay Jones this season could help Harris out. [Read Full Article] Top NBA Draft Prospects in the Big East (Part Four: #16-20) November 3, 2008 After playing a hefty 36 minutes per game last season as a sophomore, Paul Harrisí role on Syracuse is not likely to decrease, given his squad's lack of experience. With Donte Greene's departure to the NBA, there will be plenty of scoring opportunities opening up for him to bolster his numbers.
At only 6'4, he is severely undersized for a player best suited to play the small forward position. However, he does make up for his lack of height with an enormous wingspan and absolutely chiseled frame. He's not lacking in terms of leaping ability or quickness by any means either, giving him an impressive physical package to work with.
The strength of Harris' offensive game is his ability to get to the rim and finish with either hand in traffic. Harris takes the ball extremely hard to the basket, gets to the free throw line at a great rate. Capable of going both left and right equally well, he is blessed with a nice first step and creative ball handling skills for a wing.
Equally as impressive is his ability to find the open man, both in transition and in a half court setting. The fact that the Niagara Falls native played point guard for stretches at the prep level surely benefits him in this facet of the game. The problem is that Harris often forces the issue and freezes his teammates out, looking quite selfish and often out of control in the process. He turned the ball over on nearly 1/4th of his possessions last season, which is an alarmingly high rate. His 117 turnovers last season ranked 8th amongst all players in our database. Considering the fact that he will be a complimentary player at the next level, he must learn to reign himself in better.
The biggest weakness of Harris' game (and it is a huge one) is his ability to shoot the ball. While he has shown improvement over the year, he still remains a very poor shooter with bad mechanics. At this point, he is not even able to keep defenders honest at the collegiate three point line, much less the NBA 3-point line.
Harris is a stellar defender, often putting on the clamps on whomever he's guarding. His great length and nice lateral quickness allow him to stay in front of his man, also able to contest shots despite his lack of height. In addition, Harris is arguably the best rebounding wing in the nation, bringing in over 8 rebounds per game. His outstanding motor and intensity make him an absolute monster on the glass on both ends of the hardwood.
Harris has been rumored to be looking to bolt to the NBA at the first available opportunity (and he often plays that way too), so it would not be surprising in the least bit for him to test the waters if he has a strong junior season. Given the fact that he is already 22 years old, time is definitely not on his side. Improvement in his perimeter shooting and decision making will help his stock greatly, but regardless of what he decides to do at the conclusion of the season, he is a player firmly supplanted on the NBA radar. [Read Full Article] Top NBA Draft Prospects in the Big East (Part One: #1-#5) October 20, 2007 Paul Harris saw playing time in every game last season for Syracuse, but his minutes fluctuated and his role wasnít as large as many expected it to be. This season he should have a chance to break out and show more than just flashes of what he did last year. Harris averaged 8.6 points and a remarkable 7.1 rebounds for the Orange in just 21.7 minutes per game, though there are a lot of areas he could stand to improve.
Harrisí offensive game at this stage is mostly characterized by explosive finishes at the rim, be it catching the ball on a cut, coming around a screen, or pushing the ball in transition. He uses his athleticism extremely well in this area, showing a good deal of creativity at the rim and a tremendous ability to take contact, as heís built like a superhero. Harris favors going to the right with the ball in his hands, though heís also able to go left. Harris didnít look great in isolation situations last season, doing most of his damage when he caught the ball with his defender in less than ideal position. He still needs to work on using his excellent athletic ability and strength to consistently get by his man in one-on-oneís. Harris is also susceptible to charges in transition, often going full speed into the lane with no plans to adjust his body, as he is strong enough to go through most defenders.
The area Harris most needs to work on, though, is his outside shooting, something that has plagued him as long as scouts have known his name. He showed some confidence with his mid-range shot this season, even looking good at times when wide open, but heís inconsistent and prone to bad misses, especially when on the move, with a man in his face, or when outside the 15 foot range. He converted just one of 20 three-pointers on the season, though his free-throw percentage was .681, which isnít bad given where his shot was last summer.
Harris also does a good deal of damage in the post area, fighting for position with a man on him or sneaking into open space to catch dump-offs in the lane. Harris isnít afraid to post up anyone, but this hurts him at times when trying to finish over longer defenders. Harris is frequently matched with power forwards on offense, which limits what he can do with his post game at this level. Still, he should be a definite post threat in isolations at the next level against weaker shooting guards.
Harrisí rebounding is a very exciting thing to watch, as he goes after pretty much every loose ball, and often is able to grab rebounds from out of position due to his phenomenal vertical leap and length. Heís tenacious in attacking the boards, though he sometimes has trouble going straight up with it on offense due to his size. To emphasize just how good a rebounder the 6-5 freshman was, consider that ranked evenly with Greg_Oden in this category on a per-minute basis).
Defensively, Harris hardly got to show what he was capable of last season, and that shouldnít change this season in Syracuseís zone defense. Harris has excellent physical tools on the defensive end and has the potential to be a lock-down defender, but itís hard to tell in the zone. Still, Harris played attentive defense in the zone, handling his assignment well, cutting off passing lanes, and playing aggressively when placed in isolation situations.
Another skill Harris didnít get to show much of is his point guard abilities, something he has shown at the high school level. He definitely has more of a combo-guardís mentality, but has a good, low-to-the-ground handle and the ability to create for teammates. He may not get the chance to show these things consistently at Syracuse, but he definitely has the potential to play the point in a pinch at the next level.
All in all, Harris didnít have as impactful a freshman season as many expected, but he still showed flashes, and has plenty of room to improve this season. Thereís no telling when heíll declare from the NBA, or where heíd get drafted (especially when you consider that heís already 21), as there are a lot of areas he could stand to work on, most notably his outside shooting. Depending on his development, he could go in the lottery or the second round, and this season should be imperative for him. [Read Full Article] NBA Draft Stock Watch: Conference Tournament Week (Part Two) March 13, 2007 A highly touted recruit and native New Yorker, expectations ran high for Paul Harris from the moment he stepped on campus. There were many highs and lows for him this season, but he went out on top with a strong performance against Notre Dame in the Big East tournament. In just 22 minutes, Harris had his best game of the season, while desperately trying to bring the Orangemen back from a late deficit.
Throughout much of the game, Harris wasnít a primary scoring option, but would come through with an occasional strong drive to the hoop, or a big rebound in traffic. Late in the game, Harrisí intensity on both ends of the court shined through. With 6 minutes remaining and Syracuse down by 8, Harris took the ball the length of the court after rebounding the ball, and forced Notre Dame to foul him in transition. He missed a jumper the next time down the floor, but stole the ball and scored a layup in transition again on the next play to make up for it. Over the last 6 minutes Harris scored 14 points, mostly on transition drives to the basket.
Harris has as good of a body as any wing player in the country, and uses his powerful build to finish over anybody inside. He has great quickness getting to the basket off the dribble, and uses his 40+ inch vertical for highlight finishes at times. In just 21 minutes per game this season, Harris managed to average 7 rebounds a game, thanks to his leaping ability as well as his excellent positioning. Shooting has always been the weakest part of his game, and an improved stroke would help him greatly next season. He only made 1 three pointer the entire season, and this will be scrutinized by scouts unless he can improve in this area. In high school, Harris played point guard quite a bit, and displayed the ability to create well for teammates with the ball in his hands. His role throughout his freshman year at Syracuse didnít allow him to do this, but he still appears to have combo guard potential for the next level. Harris was also known as a great lockdown defender, something that is hidden by the Syracuse zone.
Next season, Harrisí role should increase significantly, and it should allow him to become more comfortable on the court knowing he can play through his mistakes. If he can continue to score using his slashing skills, and improve his jumper during the offseason, he will have a chance to become a first round pick at some point over the next two seasons. Team success would help as well, and Syracuse has a strong class of recruits that will arrive on campus in fall of 2007. [Read Full Article] DraftExpress 2006-2007 Big East Postseason Awards February 27, 2007 Paul Harris didnít live up to expectations as a freshman and spent extended time in Jim Boeheimís doghouse, but weíre not quite willing to give up on him yet, especially if heíll be seeing more action as a ball-handler and will be finally unleashed on the defensive end. [Read Full Article] High School Allstar Games Recap: Player Interviews April 25, 2006
On his vocal style:
ďItís just an instinct. I just want to be the leader out there. Let everybody know Iím there on helpside ĎDí, let them know Iím there and just go out and have fun.Ē
ďHonestly, to yourself, you have to be true to yourself and I know Iím not ready. Iím ready to go to college.Ē
On what he brings to the floor most: ďEnergy, leadership and energy. Just let the other team know that Iím out there.Ē
ďFor me, itís working on conditioning and shooting. If I can work on those two, I think I can be all right.Ē
DraftExpress: You have a body type that seems more like an NFL linebacker than a high school basketball player. How did you go about building it up?
Paul Harris: Well, you know I just do a lot of pushups, I never really lift weights. I started this year, but then I stopped when it started hurting my arms.
DraftExpress: What do you think your position will be at the next level?
Paul Harris: I say swing man/3.
DraftExpress: How do you think your up tempo style will fit in with the slower Syracuse offense?
Paul Harris: Well, I gotta do what the coach say. If thatís what he wants, then I gotta adjust my game to that.
DraftExpress: If the NBA rules you eligible for the draft, is there any way you would consider declaring?
Paul Harris: No, Iím not ready. I want to go to college.
DraftExpress: What areas of your game do you feel you need to work on the most?
Paul Harris: My jumpshot. The number one thing.
DraftExpress: How do you plan on improving your jumpshot?
Paul Harris: Shooting hundreds and thousands of shots a day.
DraftExpress: You played on a really loaded Notre Dame prep team this year. Do you feel that helped or hurt your exposure?
Paul Harris: Well it doesnít matter you know. We finished number one, thatís all that counts.
DraftExpress: How do you think your style fits in with the International style?
Paul Harris: I think if we just come out and play our game and play tough D, we can win the game.
DraftExpress: Whatís the deal with the whole ĎLetís Goí thing (Paul yells this phrase seemingly 50 times per game)?
Paul Harris: (laughing) Letís go. Play hard and win.
DraftExpress: You have a huge following in the Niagara Falls area. Do you think many people made it down to see you in this game?
Paul Harris: Not that much. Iíd say in the Jordan Classic there will probably be more.
DraftExpress: With one true point guard on the Hoop Summit roster, do you expect to see time there?
Paul Harris: Well if thatís what they put me at, thatís what Iím going to do. [Read Full Article] At the Jordan Classic: Main Event and Regional Game Recaps April 24, 2006 Paul Harris had an up-and-down game, looking dominant with his size and athleticism in the open floor, but having trouble being productive in the halfcourt. On the break, Harris had some powerful jams, which no one dared get in the way of, to go along with some lay-ups and assists as well. In the halfcourt, Harris didnít do as well, often settling for outside jumpers and forcing the issue doing so. His shot needs a lot of work, and in speaking with him he said itís the thing heíll work on most this summer. But right now, itís not game ready, and Harris missed a handful of ill-advised outside shots badly in this game. To his credit, he did hit one contested three-pointer and also had a pull-up in the lane. Harris didnít have much success driving to the basket either, only getting to the foul line once and missing on his other lay-up attempts. He showed off his athleticism and ball-handling on a few of the drives, but couldnít convert on any of them, namely one crossover where he drove hard and was blocked at the basket.
Defensively, in a game that had very little on this side of the ball, Harris did pretty well, using his combination of strength and length as he often does to contain his man. He has all the tools and the work ethic to be a very good defender on the perimeter.
As noted above, Harris needs to work on his shot this summer, which he already intends to do. The rest of his game is very sound, and heís a fierce competitor to go with it. If you add the threat of a reliable outside shot to that package, youíre going to have quite the player on your hands. [Read Full Article] At the Jordan Classic: Friday Scrimmage April 22, 2006 Paul Harris had a very bad day, being unable to get anything going on the offensive end. He was intent on settling for mid and long-range jumpers most of the game, and wasnít able to convert on any of them. Harris missed an assortment of jump shots, most of which were from three-point range, many of which missed badly. On his lone attempt to attack the basket, Harris used his length and athleticism to make a very impressive reverse lay-up attempt off the glass, but it rimmed out. Harris did play well on the defensive end, breaking up some passes and playing some good man defense, but this was not his best performance. [Read Full Article] 2006 Nike Hoop Summit Game Recap April 10, 2006 With Tywon Lawson as the only true point guard named to Team USA, Harris was able to display his all around game nicely when given his chance at running the team. He is a high energy player, who was the most vocal guy on the court for either team. Paul pushed the ball up the court quite a bit, and made some very nice passes in transition when the defense came over to double. The other part of his game that really stood out during the Hoops Summit is his defense. In addition to moving his feet well, Harris was able to create turnovers without gambling too much in order to get them. He already possesses an NBA-ready body, and knows how to use it, especially on the defensive end of the floor. On offense, Harris used his explosive first step to create a few easy layups for himself. Though he can score the ball, his jumpshot is really flat at this point in time. He will need to fix his release point on his shot, but if he can learn to shoot well, it will greatly help Harrisí long term potential. Right now Paul can play the 1, 2 or the 3, but doesnít really have a defined position. He will need to improve his half court game in addition to his shot before he is ready for the NBA, but he has all the tools to succeed. Paul Harris is in the interesting situation of being one of the few guys who may be eligible for the NBA draft as a 5th year high school player. To make things more interesting, some people donít think Harris will be eligible to play at Syracuse. Paul insists heís not looking at the draft at all, and wants to go to college, but if the right circumstances arise, it will be interesting to see what he does. Despite his advanced age (playing amongst boys), he is definitely not ready for the NBA and would be nothing more than a 2nd round pick at best. [Read Full Article]