PG is Scoring Points

Miami sophomore point guard Anthony Harris is averaging 14.1 points and 4.7 assists per game this year. He has provided steady leadership at the point guard position and has shown good range from behind the three-point line.

No one with any basketball knowledge expected Miami to be 7-2 after nine games with the exception of maybe the ‘Canes coaching staff and possibly the players.

With only one senior on this year's team, a brand new coaching staff, and little offense expected to come from the inside, many people thought that Miami might not win a game in the ACC this year.

But that has changed as the ‘Canes are riding a six-game winning streak after dropping back-to-back games to South Carolina State and Xavier before coming up with wins over Florida, ranked No. 19 at the time, and a blowout of UMass just three days after the Minutemen knocked off UConn.

The ACC schedule has not started so that question can't be answered yet, but if the start of this season is any indication, Miami will win its share of conference games and could very well be looking at a potential post-season tournament appearance, whether it be the NCAA Tournament or the NIT come March.

You need look no further than the play of point guard Anthony Harris to see why this team has looked so good over the past few weeks and is seemingly getting better each and every game.

It was a given that Guillermo Diaz and Robert Hite would have to carry this team this year and basically need to have monster games for the ‘Canes to have any chance of winning games, but the play of Harris has turned the ‘Canes into a team to watch and a team to be reckoned with under first-year coach Frank Haith.

And it's because of his maturity in such a short period of time that is making all the difference in the world.

Earlier this year against Xavier, Harris hit three treys in the first half, but then went cold and kept shooting threes to the point where he missed his final seven and turned a nice first half into a miserable game overall.

"Anthony Harris has come such a long way," Haith has said on numerous occasions. "He has done everything we've asked of him."

Naturally a scorer, Harris has turned himself into the point guard and leader that Miami needs him to be in order for the team to be successful.

As his shot selection has improved so have the Hurricanes.

"It's definitely a maturation process. Back home we have a three-strike rule," Harris said. "Once you miss three jumpers, you have to find another way to score."

And something that Harris has done more of is take the ball to the basket that has had him ending up at the free throw line more.

After the first four games of the season, Harris shot no free throws. In the past five games, Harris is 24-for-27 from the line (89%). That is something that has helped his game turn around.

And helped turned the ‘Canes season around at the same time and that maturation showed against Tennessee Tech as he scored all 14 of his points in the second half, six of which came from the free throw line.

"I paced myself and got a couple of lay ups," Harris said. "I tried not to force anything. I wasn't shooting that well. I just tried to run the floor and get my points here and there and play tough defense."

That's what a leader does and that's what Anthony Harris has become.

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