Taking a longer look at Gary Harris

It's my first fan post!..... Be gentle.

When the 1st reports started to surface that Harris could be the target with the pels pick, I immediately shook my head and grimaced like i was handed a plate full of Brussel sprouts and a tall glass of Castor oil to wash it down. That sentiment lasted for a while. After reading a few people, who's opinions I respect, I didnt change my mind, but i decided to give him an actual look.

Let's get this out of the way...... He has enough length but doesn't have prototypical size.... He is athletic, but doesn't have that uber athleticism.....He doesnt have the elusive superstar "it" quality whatever that is. ......He's a michigan stater(hardworkers short on talent stigma) .... he's had some injury history.

Still here? Ok. I actually watched him play, particularly all his games against who I consider the best offensive 2 guard in the country Nik Stauskas. He made Stauskas work every game, even when Staukas got the better of him earlier in the season. He corrected on those mistakes, and by the time I popped in the Big 10 Championship game(which can be found in its entirety on YT). Wow! Here are my observations:

1) Stauskas did not score a basket against Harris straight up, the ENTIRE GAME. The only bucket comes in the 1st half after Jordan Morgan sets a hearty screen and Payne doesn't rotate. Thats nuts. Arguably the best offenisve 2 in the nation. Shut out. All his baskets came off the switch, MSU 3-2 zone, or when Harris was out of the ballgame.

2) He stayed on the hip of NS, like a virgin on his prom date; very disciplined considering the fakes and footwork in NS' arsenal;

3) He has a high basketball IQ, he can be seen directing teammates, yelling instruction and generally being a leader on the floor, he isnt a rah rah guy, but its easy to see he is respected out there.

4) He has an excellent grasp of team Defense and how to excute it. He would consistently funnel NS toward the help which was either a shot blocker or someone clawing at the rock. Leading To some very poor shots for NS, if not outright TO or block. When the help wasn't there, or late, he simply did it himself and cut off the angle immediately.

5) His jumper mechanics look sound and his release is quick enough that there shouldn't be any worry of him getting it off at the next level. I know his 3% numbers were down from '12, but it looked really good when it mattered.

6) His hands are very fast and he gets it done without fouling. He eats rip and go's alive. Stauskas tried on the left elbow and it got taken the other way for a breakaway dunk. At the very least those wont lead to guys getting into the lane, and defensive breakdowns.

7) His athleticism is good. His vertical is meh. There is a difference. Quickness, speed, agility are good enough IMHO.

8) He got to good spots on the floor, that lead to high percentage looks for himself. I think thats important because due to his lack of vert he may get blocked at the rim at times *cough Evan turner cough*. If he can settle in zones, use that proficient jab step etc. he can get bunnies and capitalize without going Wiggins to be effective. He did that in this game. I would say it's imperative for him to use his floater and it needs work. It should be a weapon for him in the association, that can alleviate some natural disadvanatges.

In conclusion, the comp I like is a better defending Bradley Beal with a less deadly jumper. That can be a coup @ 10. A guy you plug in next to MCW for the next 10 years who can guard either guard postion. A guy who can be that 3-N-D guy we want and make teams pay when MCW gets in the lane. I would be more than happy to take him @ 10. You arent getting that from anyone behind him in this draft IMO.

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