Darnell Harris Looking to Emerge as Leader

Junior shooting guard Darnell Harris is expected to go from a player to take some pressure off two senior stars a year ago, to the focus of opposing defenses and also his own team. Harris' role will change from solid team contributor to the leadership role of the 2006-2007 Explorers.

Explorer Hoop Report had a chance to speak with Darnell Harris at the recent open practice held by the team. The sweet shooting guard from Baltimore has some things he wants to accomplish going into his junior year. "I am just working on getting better every day" Harris said when asked about working on his individual game. Predominately a stand still shooter his freshman year, Harris began to expand his game last season by taking the ball to the rim more. When asked what he wants to do this year with his game, Harris said, "mix it up", alluding to his desire to do multiple things with the basketball to make defending him more difficult for opposing teams.

The new role Harris has embraced is that as leader. With only Mike St. John, Sean Neal, and Sherman Diaz joining Harris as the only players on the roster with more than 30 games played, Harris knows he needs to step up in the leadership role that Coach Giannini needs to help the younger players work their way through the rigors of college basketball. "I need to show them (younger players) what it takes to succeed at this level". He knows high school is much different than college. " I tell the freshmen the game is faster".

Harris has a lot on his plate. Top returning offensive player and leader of a young basketball team. His success at both will go a long way in determining the success of the Explorers this season. One thing is for sure; he awaits these challenges with the determination that has catapulted him from an erratic but talented freshman to possibly being an all Atlantic 10 selection.

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