Originally published May 10, 2012 at 12:00a.m., updated May 10, 2012 at 01:32a.m.

Did UF give KU a boost?


Only time will tell, but it looks as if recent developments could help Kansas University in its pursuit of former University of South Carolina forward Damontre Harris.

Harris, a 6-foot-9, 225-pound junior-to-be out of Fayetteville, N.C., is expected to choose this week between KU and Florida. However, Florida on Wednesday was deemed by some analysts a favorite now to land Dorian Finney-Smith, a 6-8, 195-pound sophomore-to-be from Portsmouth, Va., who has announced plans to leave Virginia Tech.

Finney-Smith, who was ranked No. 31 nationally in the high school Class of 2011 by, averaged 6.3 points and 7.0 rebounds while logging 29.0 minutes a game a year ago for Tech. He reportedly was upset at having to play power forward instead of wing. Harris, another power forward who was ranked No. 64 in the Class of 2010, averaged 6.8 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.3 blocks in 25.9 minutes a game last season at USC.

Finney-Smith has yet to release a list of schools. ESPN’s Dave Telep reported on Twitter that Florida and Marquette figure to be factors, with KU, VCU and Villanova possibly getting involved.

Both players will have to sit out next season in accordance with NCAA rules.


Jay Dogger 9 years, 4 months ago

If Finney-Smith doesn't want to play PF, wouldn't that mean he wouldn't be fighting for minutes with Harris? Anyway, Harris is supposed to decide soon...if he postpones his announcement then perhaps this is an issue for him. I hope we get him but I won't be terrible bummed if we don't.

Will the freshmen be able to take the European trip and play? I seem to remember there was some date as to when they could be included (around Labor Day?) but I can't remember. Either way, it should be a good experience for this year's team. I'm sure they'll make great ambassadors for the school and for Jayhawk nation. And it sounds like fun!


Michael Bratisax 9 years, 4 months ago

And a great recruiting tool... not many schools get to send their basketball team to Europe.

Curtis Stutz 9 years, 4 months ago

Pretty sure UF only has one scholarship to work with like KU, so if UF really wants F-S they may have to tell Harris they are going a different route. Don't see them doing that but it'd be awesome if they did.

Ya the freshmen get to go. I believe the China trip was a big part of G'town's early success, could make a big impact for guys like Ellis and BMac

Cameron Cederlind 9 years, 4 months ago

Considering Labor Day is September 3rd and the Europe games are August 7-12, I would hope the decision is made before Labor Day.

Alohahawk 9 years, 4 months ago

I said the other day, as long as Harris or Walker sign on, KU should get at least one good year from one of them. That's if Walker turns out to be a OAD. As for Harris, he should fit in Self's defensive schemes pretty well after he sits his required year and learns Self's system. Correct me if I'm wrong, but in that same post, I mentioned that Harris would only have one year of playing eligibilty left - his senior year (even if his sit-out year was considered a red-shirt year), and another poster said Harris has two years playing time left. Most transfers lose one year of eligibility, unless it's a hardship case, which Harris isn't. Withey lost a year (Second semester of his first KU year, and first half of his next - sophomore year), because he transferred after his first semester at Arizona. So, what's the difference between the two situations?

championhawks 9 years, 4 months ago

Harris would have 2 years to play. He finished his soph year (2nd year bc I do not think he took a red shirt at SC) this past year. So he is transferring in as a junior (3rd year). So next year he would sit out as a red shirt bc of the transfer rules, and he would have years 4 and 5 to play.

Alohahawk 9 years, 4 months ago

I guess I still am in the dark, or has the NCAA changed the transfer rules? Because, if Harris has spent two years in college, that makes him a junior next year, and by the NCAA rules most transfers automatically lose (emphasis on the word "lose") 1 year of gametime on the court (Unless it's a hardship case, or as what happened with U Conn's tournament disqualification and mass exodus.) And Harris does not fall into those categories. (ie. Harris has 4 years of total college gametime eligibility, minus 1 lost year - transfer/sit out dis-eligibility, leaving him 1 year of court time available.) Call him a red-shirt, but it still is a season lost of available court time, ala the NCAA mandated 1 year lost on the court. The 1 year of ineligibility is not the same as a red-shirt year. It doesn't fit into the NCAA formula. What I'm getting at is: To keep transfers from becoming rampant, the NCAA takes away 1 year of court time the year the transfer takes place, and that sitting out time is not considered a red shirt year. However, if a transfer drops to a Div. II school, or less, they can play immediately and do not lose the year of game time. All transfers, any division, can immediately practice with the team. As I stated above, when Withey transferred he had 2 1/2 years of court time left. He had to sit out a year (call it a red-shirt year if you like), and he could still practice with the team. But, he still lost one year of game time eligibility.

Vernon Riggs 9 years, 4 months ago

That isn't the current rules. Every NCAA athlete has five years to play four years of sports. Harris will sit out a year (2012-13) and then have two years to finish two year of NCAA eligibility. He wouldn't lose any of his four years of playing. Jeff tranfered under the same rules. When he is done this year, he has had 4 years of playing in a 5-year span.

Marcia Parsons 9 years, 4 months ago

I think Keating made a reference in the article to the freshmen being included in the trip.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 4 months ago

First! Sometimes it is the little things... Personally, I've never been overwhelmed by transfers. We've had a few that turned out well but just as many haven't done so well.

Jeff Withey, Jeff Graves, Kevin Young and even Wesley have made us a better team but I remember Lester Earl, Luke Axtell (sp?), and numerous others who ended up sitting on the bench watching. Granted, most of these players who didn't do well were often done in by injuries.

Still, these players look like they could make solid contributions 2013 and 2014.

I think Coach Self wants to be sure that we have a strong frontcourt as I'm sure that there will be request for transfers next season for those who are left out of the rotation.

I also think that Self is looking for some big bodies who want to play physically.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 4 months ago

In Charlton Heston's voice: "Damn you JayDogger Damn you all to hell".

RJ King 9 years, 4 months ago

Agree. In the last ten years Roderick Stewart, Jeff Withey, KY and Wesley transferred from other (4-yr) programs. Jeff Graves, Mario Little, and Quintrell Thomas were JuCo transfers.

Kevin definitely, and maybe Mario were solid contributors. Both Jeffs = solid starters, and Withey with massive potential for senior year. In general, transfers not much impact considering big picture.

It comes down to this (if Adams qualifies): would we rather see Harris on scholarship with Wesley back to walk-on, and have fewer "freshmen minutes" (or red-shirt "freshman minutes") available for Traylor, Ellis, Peters, and Lucas?

Curtis Stutz 9 years, 4 months ago

Not much impact? More impact from each of KYo, Withey and Graves than from #1 recruit Selby. Little was solid and brought in good offense from the bench during a lot of dry spells, Withey started on a FF team and broke the shotblock record for the tourney, Graves started on a FF team, KYo took over the Ohio St home game this year and played plenty of other big minutes with more to come. Lot of impact from those 4. Look at even Stewart, he was around same era as Niang, Wilkes, Case, Galindo and Downs, who had the biggest impact of those 6? Other guys like Downs and Galindo left 'cause the team was stacked, good to have guys like Stewart that can give good defensive minutes on the roster instead of bolting.

Harris has to sit a year, so he's not going to steal minutes from anybody other than practice minutes If we could play Harris this year I'd be even more excited to bring him in

RJ King 9 years, 4 months ago

Phan and Swishy - (My bad on Quintrell. I was thinking of Tyrone Appleton.)

I agree with your comments, so perhaps I didn't explain my point well. The comparison between the transfers and other individual players (#1 Selby) although valid, is not where I was going. I was questioning the overall (big picture) significance of transfers to the program. Example:

Since 2002, 10 years x 5 positions = 50 spots on the floor (or opportunities to impact a game).

Round off general playing time and credit Graves with a "spot and a half," Withey with 1 (so far), and KY + Mario combine for one. The transfer TOTAL is around 3 1/2 "spots" out of 50, or 7%.

I'm not denying specific quality performances by transfers, just saying that the players who develop and come of age after 3 or 4 years are overall both the most statistically significant, AND the most beloved.

But you are probably correct (below) in saying transfers are becoming more prevalent and will continue to do so. That should increase their overall significance to all programs.

Andy Hess 9 years, 4 months ago

Quintrell Thomas was a freshman from St. Patrick's High School in NJ. Nice try though.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 4 months ago

Not following .. Harris would not be competing for minutes with our freshman/red-shirt freshman this season. He sits out this coming season regardless of where he goes.

Jesse Johnson 9 years, 4 months ago

BayHawk does seem to be talking about this year. But if you do look at next year when Harris would be available, it's still hard to see where he would fit in.

We have 4 PF freshman coming in this year and are high on the list for two top ten PF recruits for the next year, all of whom have more years of eligibility than Harris would have.

Maybe Self is counting on Traylor/Lucas/Peters being non-impact players like Quintrell Thomas and maybe he knows something that we don't about our chances of recruiting high profile PFs for next year.

Curtis Stutz 9 years, 4 months ago

Earl started out getting decent amounts of PT which diminished with Gooden and Collison coming in and Axtell was key off the bench as a 3pt threat and a decent rebounder on the wing.

Bottom line though is transfers are becoming more prevalent, heck I think it'd be great to get to play on a couple different campuses, live in a couple different parts of the country and learn from multiple coaches as a college kid.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 4 months ago

True..but Earl's knees were already so bad that the once prize recruit never had the opportunity to play near the level everyone hoped for..not his fault and he always contributed 100%. Axtell suffered many of the same problems as Earl. I think highly of both players as neither ever quit but wish we could have seen them at their best.

BigBlue4KU 9 years, 4 months ago

Rex Walters, Jerod Hasse, Greg Dreiling, Roger Morningstar

Jayhawk444 9 years, 4 months ago

Didn't Greg Dreiling play at KU as a freshman?

Vernon Riggs 9 years, 4 months ago

No, Greg started at WSU and then transfered.

BigBlue4KU 9 years, 4 months ago

Rex started on the 1991 team that played for the National Championship, Jerod started for the '97 and '98 teams that included Vaughn, Pollard, Pierce and LaFrentz, Greg Dreiling started on the '86 Final Four team and Morningstar started for the '74 Final Four team. I'd say there are four transfers that worked out pretty well. Withey has a chance to be an All-American. Graves and Little were important contributors to some pretty decent teams. Quintrell wasn't a transfer TO Kansas, he transferred FROM Kansas.

justanotherfan 9 years, 4 months ago

Rex Walters sat out that '91 season after transferring. He practiced but did not play. I think you're remembering him play for the 1993 Final Four team.

RJ King 9 years, 4 months ago

My bad. I was thinking of Tyrone Appleton. I was just going back ten years to get a decent sampling. I absolutely value the contributions of all of our transfers. (Haase is one of my all time favorites!) But their opportunities and floor time are still a very small piece of the big puzzle - like maybe 5-10% - albeit perhaps increasing now and down the road.

FSUJHAWK 9 years, 4 months ago

To the World of Journalism in Lawrence, I'm happy to see that the author of this article correctly referred to the University of South Carolina by its rightful name. The same author also referred to the University of Florida as "Florida," which is acceptable by AP and other standards. Yet, the first university referred to in this article was referenced incorrectly. This is a shame and disrespect to our university.

On topic, transfers are hit or miss. They are mostly hits however. Typically it's unknown to many why a coach recruits a transfer, in many cases the coach's goal is to have a solid practice or back up guy. The goal is not always to find the next MJ or PP. The reality is that transfers usually bolster a young team's attitude, physicality, maturity, experience, depth and academics. If HCBS wants this cat I'm in total support of da man.


Dan Harris 9 years, 4 months ago

Wow! I totally missed that dis on our beloved university, damn them all to hellllllllllll!!!!

hawksince51 9 years, 4 months ago

One of the issues with transfers who have to sit out a year, is that it is hard to project how they fit with a team's needs 2 years out. Lester Earl was not needed once we got Collison and Gooden. I never felt he was much of a contributor anyway. Whereas Withey became eligilbe at just the right time and filled a void. And, Jeff's development has been remarkable. Others have pointed out our checkered results with transfers over the years. But, as long as a team has an available scholarship it is usually worth a shot.

Curtis Stutz 9 years, 4 months ago

Well since we lose Withey after next year the timing looks pretty good for Harris Also Lester Earl's knee injury really hampered his contributions, he would've played more minutes had he not lost so much explosiveness with that injury, when I first saw him I thought he dunked like Kemp

I don't think our results with transfers have been any more checkered than our results with incoming freshmen. Sometimes they make big contributions, sometimes they don't. We can't compare what our transfers have contributed to what only our biggest stars have. Of course we can't judge any futures transfers by what totally different players were able to do especially since some come from less competitive leagues like the JUCO transfers. If you asked me who I'd be most excited to sign up this year between Lucas/Peters/Harris I'd have to say Harris 'cause we know for sure he can play defense at the D1 level. I have high hopes for Lucas and Peters but you just never know how their games will translate to D1.

KUAlum2000 9 years, 4 months ago

This maybe doesn't count, but do folks remember Darrin Hancock? He was a juco player that came from garden city. Still remember him driving the baseline one game and throwing down a reverse jam over somebody. He had to duck his head around the backboard.

Jeff Kilgore 9 years, 4 months ago

That somebody was Indiana! When he was at Kansas, we owned Bobby Knight. Those were some great teams.

Scott Smetana 9 years, 4 months ago

Top 3 Dunk in KU history I think. Others in my opinion are Trob at his year against Baylor and Mario's follow up dunk I think against Texas. Others?

ajhk 9 years, 4 months ago

Do you mean the Chalmers' follow against Georgia Tech? That's the one the came to my mind. I always thought Juju had some of the craziest dunks I've ever seen.

Michael Sillman 9 years, 4 months ago

Self has shown a preference for giving out all of his scholarships and I certainly can't criticize the results. I am waiting on pins and needles for Adams test results. I think he'll be critical to the ball handling guard depth. It doesn't look like any other options will present themselves at this late date.

joeloveshawks 9 years, 4 months ago

I agree with Jaylark above that I am more concerned with Adams test results at the moment. I think we need his skill set more than anything for next year. That said, I think Tharpe will be greatly improved over the next few years and kind of reminds me of a potential Russell Robinson type 4 year player who got off to a very slow start.

Jesse Johnson 9 years, 4 months ago

Am I the only one who really does not want us to land this guy? I have nothing against him, I just don't think we have room for him. We have 4 PF freshman coming in this year (Traylor, Ellis, Lucas, Peters) and from what I understand, we are high on the list for top 10 PF recruits Julius Randle and Chris Walker.

Not only would Harris take up a scholarship which I would rather seen used on another high profile recruit for next year, I think he would lessen our chances of us getting either Randle or Walker because of playing time.

I'm sure I'll get some responses that HCBS knows what he's doing and I don't, and maybe you're right. Maybe he knows we aren't getting Randle or Walker and that Peters, Lucas and Traylor aren't going to be great impact players. I guess I am just hoping that they can be impact players and that we have a good chance at getting either Randle or Walker in which case I don't see where Harris fits in.

REHawk 9 years, 4 months ago

...and it could be that Bill Self hopes to free up Ellis to play minutes at the small forward position?

Curtis Stutz 9 years, 4 months ago

well said kD

I will disagree a little with an earlier comment you had about 4's and 5's being interchangeable in Self ball. Offensively yes, but defensively it pays to have someone you'd consider a college center rather than 2 PF's on the floor especially if you're going to play zone at all. Self has definitely had undersized guys play the 4 before, and he wants someone that can play center out there while they are on the court. Some players like TRob, DJackson, Arthur, Kief can be considered a 4/5, some guys like Cole/Kaun/Withey are flat out 5s, some guys like Marcus/JWright/KYo/Ellis/Little can play the 4 but you don't generally want them on the court without somebody that can play the 5 unless you're purposely trying to play small. Harris and Walker would probably both fall into the 4/5 group of playing either spot.

kujh1970 9 years, 4 months ago

It looks like more and more players from second tiered programs are looking for more TV exposure.

Curtis Stutz 9 years, 4 months ago

It's a great move if you've shown you can play at a less-exposed program, especially if you aren't the type of player that's a lock for the draft at the end of your senior year. Let's face it, hardly any seniors are locks for the NBA draft as most of the NBA talent leaves school early now. Take another year to prepare, play against elite players in practice and in bigger games. You get to experience college life at 2 schools, get to learn from top notch coaches like Self, hopefully get to play in a FF, what's not to like.

Alohahawk 9 years, 4 months ago

Recruiting for 2014: According to KU has offered Chris McCullough, a 6' 10" forward. Scout lists him as #12 in 2014 (and at 6' 8"). He says his favorites are U Conn, Syracuse, and KU.

jaybate 9 years, 4 months ago

Withey graduates, as Harris' eligibility starts. Defender/shot blocker replaces defender/shot blocker.

There is no issue here.


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