After two very solid seasons in Ann Arbor, Manny Harris has continued to progress as a scorer as a junior. While Harris has been highly productive, the Wolverines have been a major disappointment. Sporting an 11-10 record after starting the season in the top-15, Jim Beileins team needs strong play out of Harris down the stretch to salvage their bleak tournament outlook. After a recent (and brief) suspension for unsportsmanlike conduct, Harris could certainly use a string of strong performances to bolster his draft stock moving into this summer.
A known commodity at this point, Harris still displays very good quickness and leaping ability but lacks a degree of physical strength. Considering how capably he gets to the line, that lack of bulk doesnt manifest itself very thoroughly in his offensive game on the college level. Harris isnt afraid to throw himself into traffic, and proves more than capable of finishing at the basket. A gifted scorer, Harris has the athletic tools of an NBA player, but will need to continue to add strength to his skinny frame to translate his slashing game to NBA caliber defenses.
Just as Harriss athleticism has been thoroughly analyzed on this site over the years, so too has his lack of jump shooting ability. Despite averaging over 4 three-point attempts per-game, Harris is having his worst season from beyond the arc, connecting on a meager 27.8% of his tries from deep.
Long considered an NBA caliber talent, Harriss struggles from the outside continue to limit perceptions of his NBA potential. According to Synergy Sports Technology, Harris is connecting on just 31.5% of his jump shots this season. Considering that 58% of Harriss shots are jumpers, it is fairly obvious that perimeter scoring is his biggest weakness. Though hes improved his shooting off the dribble to an extent, he is still too inconsistent with his footwork, and subsequently, struggles with his effectiveness from the outside.
Though he isnt an efficient jump shooter, Harris proves to be an outstanding finisher in transition and is effective when given the opportunity to impose his athleticism on his matchup off the dribble. A creative one-on-one player, Harris remains a bit limited going left, but hes incredibly difficult for most college defenders to stay in front of when he rips through and lowers his shoulder.
Capable of stopping on a dime an elevating over defenders on the college level, one of the biggest questions Harris will have to answer whenever he declares is whether or not he is athletic enough to make comparable plays on the NBA level, without having the ball in his hands anywhere near as much. His limited jump shooting ability makes that an integral aspect of his NBA potential.
Defensively, Harris has continued to show the improved effort level that he did last season, but is still not the most fundamentally sound defender. He gets caught watching the ball at times and doesnt always make crisp rotations to recover, staying a bit too high and getting beat off the dribble because of it. On the next level, Harris will need to improve his ability to close out shooters and learn to exploit his lateral quickness on the defensive end, as his slight frame will make him a target for teams looking to create mismatches in the post.
Harris has proven to be one of the more talented guards in the Big 10; his blend of passing ability, slashing, and pure scoring ability makes him a difficult matchup. However, his role in the NBA isnt quite as clear. Against longer, more athletic defenders, Harriss lack of shooting ability will be more problematic, making this summer a very important one for the Detroit native. Whether hes preparing for the draft or polishing his game for another year in Ann Arbor, he needs to finish the season off strong.