Auburn, Ala.--Counted on to provide leadership for the Auburn Tigers despite being a true freshman, point guard Jared Harper delivered on Monday night with a 19-point effort and making clutch plays throughout the game in an 83-65 victory over Georgia State.
"We struggled a little bit shooting the ball," Harper said. "First half, second half, I tried to dish it out to my teammates and and get them going, but then I saw that it pretty much upon me to get the team going."
He did that beginning in that first half with a pair of big three-pointers to push the Tigers in front to stay. He picked up where he left off in the second half, running the show for Auburn. Taking a lead role can be challenging for a young player, but Harper said having a few games under his belt helped him to understand when it was time to step it up.
"It feels good to do that at this level," he said. "We had a scrimmage, an exhibition game and our first regular-season game so that all came with adjusting to the game, just seeing places where I could choose my spots and be aggressive and score."
Now 2-0 and getting ready to face Eastern Kentucky on Thursday night at Auburn Arena, Harper said the Tigers are a confident team, but they know it's a long season and that means a whole lot of hard work. At the moment he and his teammates are enjoying having success and growing as a team.
"Just coming in, this team, we all know we’re going to be special this year, just being able to do everything together," Harper said. "We have great chemistry together. We play well together. We practice well. Everyone’s a good teammate. We just all have fun doing it out here in practice, and we’re just ready to go to the games and play against someone.”