Harris expanding game dramatically

RALEIGH, N.C. — Within North Carolina, junior point guard Jalen Harris has emerged as one of this year’s success stories. His progress remained unencumbered at the HSOT Invitational.

In the 2013 fall, speaking to Jalen Harris for the first time, he appeared to me a slight 6-0 sophomore who projected best for the mid-major level. And then a couple months ago, at a Prep Phenom event, he struggled and looked like he may not be developing successfully upon transferring to Raleigh (N.C.) Word of God.

But we know that players in their first year at a new school can require time to adjust, and sure enough that’s exactly what transpired with Harris. Now comfortable as the lead offensive generator for a talented team, he has settled in and is making vast progress as a player and prospect.

For one thing, Harris has grown to a legitimate 6-2. Though still very thin, that growth spurt gives him nice size for the collegiate point guard spot and should enable him to compensate for his present lack of strength.

Harris is quick and fast and a tricky ballhandler capable of slicing up a defender and scoring from 5-10 feet on short jump shots. He also uses the backboard well to wall off shotblockers and scores on reverses. He makes fine passes from the lead spot and can knock down a three-pointer as well.

Realistically, Harris won’t gain much national attention in a state that also includes elite point guard Dennis Smith as well as other top-100 talents, such as Bam Adebayo, Kwe Parker and, of course, Harry Giles.

That said, he intends to play with CP3 (and thus Giles) this spring and summer and could earn numerous offers by the end of spring. If he does in fact suit up for CP3, he’ll have two live EYBL events at which to win overtures from college coaches.

Currently, Harris holds offers from Maryland-Eastern Shore, Liberty, Charlotte and Abilene Christian and interest from Clemson, Virginia Tech, Virginia, Wake Forest, N.C. State and others.

”I know what I have to do now,” Harris said, referring to his improvement at WoD. “I knew I had to find my place and my role. I have to be more aggressive and just getting into the weightroom.”

If he can piece together a solid spring building on this season, don’t be surprised if some of those interest programs turn interest into offers.

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