July 23, 2010

Harrison is one of nation's best shooters

LAS VEGAS - He dribbled up the left side of the court, looked right in his defender's eyes, made a move to the right and then to the left before swishing a three-pointer early in the second half.

The sequence happened right in front of Marquette coach Buzz Williams, Kansas assistant coach Danny Manning and many other coaches at the adidas Super 64.

It was good timing for D'Angelo Harrison, who has seen his recruitment explode this spring and summer because of similar plays he made throughout a loss to the New England Playaz. The Fort Bend (Texas) Dulles shooting guard has about 30 offers because not many players in the 2011 class can shoot like him.

"Any time a guy is averaging over 30 points a game there are going to be doubles and run and jumps and I understand the officials can't call a foul every time but they were knocking him down and it just wears on his body," Franchize All-Stars coach Terrul Henderson said.

"He still scored 23 points. He's doing a good job. At the end of the day he's the only guy we have that's going to be a senior. We have the entire team back next season. He's doing a good job leading his team and we've had a successful season. They have us as one of the top teams in the country and he's leading the charge."

It was a tough day for Harrison, rated No. 10 at shooting guard and No. 38 overall by Rivals.com.

Even though he scored a lot, Harrison dealt with double teams all game and was routinely face-guarded. He had to work incredibly hard and run off lots of screens to get open shots. There were times when he dribbled up the court and hit contested three-pointers - including one from at least 23 feet - and that's how he scored most of his points. The Playaz did a solid defensive job on Harrison especially in the half court when he didn't have the ball.

"You just have to hope your teammates set you up better or they can make plays so it makes it easier on you," Harrison said. "We didn't really do a good job of that (Friday) though. If I'm past half court I feel like I can shoot anywhere. I practice everywhere on the court - NBA, regular three, everywhere.

"You hope to get your teammates involved more because once they get going then we'll be a solid team. I have to get all of them more touches. Let's say my point guard starts scoring then they can't double team me so it's just one-on-one with my man."

Recruiting continues to pick up for Harrison - who has offers from Alabama, Arizona State, Arkansas, Houston Oklahoma State, SMU, UTEP and Virginia listed on his Rivals.com database page - but the 6-foot-3 prospect said he's "wide open" and not even close to narrowing things down.

The plan is to play out the remainder of July, return home to evaluate which schools are showing the most interest, set up some official visits and then make a commitment. What's going to be one of the important considerations is that Harrison can be used to shoot the ball and be set up so he can maximize his skills.

"He's a really consistent shooter," Henderson said. "He does a good job of keeping his shoulders square, taking good shots when he's on balance. His percentage is going higher. He's grown up a lot since last year.

"He's just trying to get better to give himself an opportunity at the end of the live period to cut the list down and then figure out his five visits and then make a good, sound decision that's going to give him the same opportunity at the next level that he's had in high school with his skill set."

Harrison said: "I haven't leveled it down. I'm going to make it smaller in August or September, see who offers, take some visits and then make a good decision. I'm not really worried about college, I'm just trying to get through the summer season."

One of the best compliments Harrison has received came Friday when a respected scout said that the Dulles prospect should be in the same category as Austin Rivers and Bradley Beal as the best shooters in the class. Rivals.com rates Rivers and Bradley first and second at that position.

"As he's gone through the recruiting process, I've talked to some of the top coaches across the country and they're telling me he is the best shooter in the country," Harrison said. "Other kids can shoot the ball but he's had 15 games with 40 points this spring and summer which means there are a lot of games with 35, 37, 38.

"Any way you look at it he has to be one of the top shooters because he's a perimeter guy. He doesn't go much to the basket or for offensive rebounds so most of his shots are off the dribble and off the catch. You have to give him at least a little nod to say he's at least one of the top couple shooters."




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