Jalen Harris: Junior Primer

Lost in the hubbub surrounding fellow N.C. native Dennis Smith and others, Jalen Harris quietly has positioned himself as a potential top-100 prospect.

How he got here

Adding height tends to be highly beneficial to basketball prospects, and especially to guards. Jalen Harris, who has sprouted to 6-2, now possesses the size to play either backcourt position in college.

Harris first came to light in 2013. Entering his sophomore season at Wilson (N.C.) Greenfield, he impressed at the Phenom 150 that fall. He played well in 2013-14 and set himself up for bigger things thereafter.

His early suitors included Liberty, Wake Forest, Clemson, NC State and others, all of which expressed at least preliminary interest.

Prior to this season, Harris transferred to Raleigh (N.C.) Word of God. He struggled last fall to get acclimated, and the challenge took on more daunting qualities due to presence of other talented guards such as Jaylen Fornes and Demetrius Troy on the team.

Still, by the holiday season Harris had regained form. It was obvious at the HSOT Invitational that he had grown at least an inch from the prior fall, and he demonstrated a confidence that was missing a few months earlier.

He competed extremely well against Harry Giles, Kwe Parker, Brandon Childress and the rest of the loaded High Point (N.C.) Wesleyan squad, leading his team with 23 points.

Harris told me that week that Liberty, Charlotte, Maryland-Eastern Shore and Abilene Christian had offered, while Wake Forest, NC State, Clemson, Virginia Tech and Virginia all were expressing interest of one form or another.

To 2015. …

Harris is a very quick and fast combo guard who can create for himself and others. We list him as a SG/PG presently because he’s better off the ball, attacking from the perimeter and also nailing jump shots.

He possesses three-point range and is gifted as a ballhandler — he possesses an excellent crossover dribble — and as he plays more point guard at WoG next year, it’s entirely possible he’ll shift to the one position in college. He also projects as either a point or wing defender.

From here, he’ll simply need to gain strength — he’s very wispy — and continue to get repetitions on his jumper. He can improve his decision-making, too, and mostly he just needs to be productive at a time when college coaches are able to watch him in person.

This season has benefited Harris tremendously, and the next several months will give him the opportunity to cash in on his newfound height and overall progress.

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