So the Sixers drafting Moe Harkless blindsided me more than a Spencer Hawes dunk. I hadn't done much research on him because he was so far off my radar. I like the potential, I like the athleticism, I love the length, but what else is there? Luckily we have a few hugely helpful tools at our disposal.
First, let's see what the St. John's Red Storm blog Rumble in the Garden thinks of their freshman forward:
Harkless can develop on the pro level. But he still has a way to go in terms of physical strength and consistency. The effort level is strong, and his stroke looks smooth. Harkless' shooting percentages in mid-range and deep-two-pointer range was good. But he hasn't hit the three-pointer with consistency. Moe Harkless hit 21.5% of his outside shots this season.
To his credit, Moe did improve his shot-creation skills during the year, improving his ability to get shots off of the bounce, his driving from the right wing, and his ability to finish at the rim. A player with his skills should draw more fouls and shoot a higher percentage from outside, but the skills appear to be developing.
Seems like good news. It's not always a clean break with college teams and their one-and-done players as we saw with Jrue Holiday and UCLA, but it seems like the SJU guys generally appreciated the guy and want him to succeed at the next level. Cool.
Also, a few tidbits from a Jeff Goodman fluffy draft piece for CBS Sports on Moe.
He'd rather go to Six Flags amusement park than a party, would prefer the gym to video games -- and shrugs off the backlash he received when he announced he'd be leaving St. John's after just one season.
"People were saying, 'How could you be so heartless?' " Harkless said.
Few actually seem to know Harkless left Forest Hills High for South Kent prep school in Conn., in an effort to play against superior competition, not because he was struggling academically. In fact, he arrived at South Kent with a GPA north of 3.0. Few are aware he was a soccer player when he was younger -- or that he'd kick in some of his tuition money so that his mother, who works three days a week at Applebee's, could pay the rent. While at South Kent, the baseball team was short a few bodies and Harkless did the noble thing -- and volunteered despite the fact he had never played the sport.
"I struck out every time," Harkless said with a smile. "But I caught two balls in right field."
There isn't a single tattoo on his body.
He's just not like those that preceded him coming out of NYC.
One person close to him described Harkless as an "old soul," someone far more mature than 19 years old, which he just turned back on May 11.
These draft pieces are always fluffy, but I do like a good anecdote no matter the circumstance.
For some viewing pleasure, here's a Draft Express interview and scouting report on him. We'll have much more soon, but this should whet your palate in the meantime and betweentime.
Does this make you more or less excited to know him? Really don't like the form and slowness of his shot. t