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Potential KU transfer Damontre Harris' stats at South Carolina show promise

Last week, we looked at how potential transfer and former Xavier point guard Mark Lyons could help Kansas statistically if he chose the Jayhawks over Arizona and Kentucky.

Now, with news breaking that South Carolina forward/center Damontre Harris is visiting KU this week and will choose between the Jayhawks and Florida Gators, I wanted to take a look at what the statistics can tell us about the 6-foot-9 sophomore, who was Rivals.com's No. 64 player in the class of 2010.

(All statistics courtesy of KenPom.com. Keep in mind that South Carolina played the NCAA's 47th-toughest schedule according to KenPom, which is something to consider when looking at these statistics.)

Offensively

Let's first look at Harris' basic offensive numbers from his sophomore year at South Carolina, where he averaged 25.9 minutes per game.

Here's a quick reminder on the stats above: Offensive rating is simply a measure of a player's individual efficiency, or the points per 100 possessions he creates himself. An offensive rating of 100 is considered average.

Offensive rating is used hand in hand with possession percentage, which is a measure of what percentage of a team's possessions a player ends while he's on the floor. Basically, this measures how involved in the offense a player is. Average possession percentage is 20 percent.

Shot percentage is the percentage of shots taken when a player is on the floor. Again, average is 20 percent.

From those numbers, we can see that Harris did not assert himself offensively, as he was only a minor part of the Gamecocks' offense when he was on the floor. To give you some context, his possession percentage was about that of KU guard Conner Teahan (14.1 percent possessions percentage) and his shot percentage was close to that of KU small forward Travis Releford (14.3 percent shot percentage). Neither of those players were a focal point in KU's offense.

The positive sign here is that when Harris did play a part in South Carolina's offense, he was extremely efficient. His offensive rating of 112.4 was tops on his team, and he was one of only four players on the Gamecocks to have an offensive rating of over 100.

So what made him so efficient? Let's look at some other numbers.

While his turnover rate (which shows what percentage of a players' possessions were used on turnovers) was a little bit higher than you'd want, Harris made up for it with great shooting.

His 55-percent shooting from two-point range was significantly better than the NCAA average of 47.8 percent, and his free throw percentage also added to his value, as his 80.4-percent free-throw shooting was second on South Carolina and also would have ranked second out of KU's rotation last year behind only Teahan.

Defensively

When analyzing Harris' statistics, one number stands out the most: his 10.7 percent block rate.

This means, when Harris was on the floor last year, he blocked 10.7 percent of his opponents' two-point shot attempts. That number was good for 19th nationally, behind premier shot-blockers like Jeff Withey (first nationally, 15.3 percent) and Kentucky's Anthony Davis (third, 13.8 percent) but still ahead of well-known swatters like UConn's Andre Drummond (24th, 9.9 percent) and North Carolina's John Henson (28th, 9.6 percent).

Let's look at Harris' other defensive/rebounding numbers.

The first statistic that sticks out here is Harris' high steal percentage, as he came away with a steal on 2.3 percent of South Carolina's defensive possessions last year.

That 2.3 percent might not seem like a lot, but it's the exact same steal percentage that Releford had for KU last year. Considering Harris plays inside and still was able to poke away that high a number tells us something about his athleticism.

His other strength appears to be his offensive rebounding percentage, as he grabbed 10.8 percent of his team's misses, which ranked 238th nationally. To compare, Harris' offensive rebounding percentage was between that of the 2012 numbers of KU's Thomas Robinson (11.2 percent) and Withey (10.2 percent).

His defensive rebounding percentage is probably a little lower than you'd want from a defensive stopper, though it still would have ranked third out of KU's rotation last year, behind Robinson and Withey and just in front of Kevin Young.

Harris also was a bit foul-prone at South Carolina, fouling out in two of his 31 games and picking up four fouls in 10 other contests.

Bottom Line

Statistically, Harris appears to be a player that could help KU two seasons from now.

Most promising is his block percentage, and if Harris did come to KU and sit out a year because of transfer rules, he would be able to practice with the nation's best shot-blocker (Withey) before having the opportunity to step into Withey's role for the 2013-14 season.

Though Harris is not yet assertive offensively, his efficiency would seem to indicate that he will be a player that, at worst, should not hurt the offense when he's in the game (much like Withey in 2011-12). His strong shooting numbers also tell us he isn't a player that forces up too many bad shots while showing that he might be a player that can develop into having a larger role while still maintaining an above-average offensive rating.

The 2013 Value-Add ranking formula — an all-encompassing player-evaluation statistic (like WAR in baseball) developed by John Pudner and frequently used by SI.com's Luke Winn — also likes Harris, as it ranked him (assuming he stayed with South Carolina) as the 125th-best player in college basketball next year. Only one KU player on next year's roster ranks higher (Elijah Johnson, 99th).

We've seen how elite shot-blockers have thrived with KU's defense in three of the last four years, as Cole Aldrich (2008-09, 2009-10) and Withey (2011-12) posted top-30 block percentages in each of those seasons.

Self's defenses have also prospered with those swatters in the middle, as KU ranked fourth in defensive two-point percentage in 2008-09 (40.8 percent), first in defensive two-point percentage in 2009-10 (40.1 percent) and second in defensive two-point percentage in 2011-12 (39.8 percent).

If Self is looking for another defensive stopper to guard the rim after Withey graduates in 2013, it appears he'll have a tough time finding a better option than Harris.

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Comments

bville_hawk 2 years, 3 months ago

Nice analysis, Jesse. Objective and thorough,

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jhox 2 years, 3 months ago

Self values defense over all else, so he would have a great shot at earning a lot of playing time.

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AsadZ 2 years, 3 months ago

Harris would be an excellent addition to our team.

Come to KU Harris. This is your opportunity to play at best place in College BB and under Best Coach in College BB, and Best Fans in College BB will be rooting for you.

This is your chance.

Grab it.

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Curtis Stutz 2 years, 3 months ago

He has to love that Jeff Withey transferred in, sat out a year, ends up a starter who sets the record for most block shots in the tourney. That has to speak volumes to a guy that loves to block shots. He might have some tough competition at KU for minutes, but I think in the end he'll be a starting center at KU and have the best chance to take his game to the next level if he becomes a Jayhawk.

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KGphoto 2 years, 3 months ago

I'm just going to go ahead and post this everywhere.

Nice choice Brian Kelly! It will be interesting to see how Notre Dame ultimately handles this. Looks like they are already trying their best to sweep it under the rug. You know? "Internal discipline".

http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/7885323/tommy-rees-notre-dame-fighting-irish-charged-four-misdemeanors-alleged-confrontation-police

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beware0fph0g 2 years, 3 months ago

Wait. Let me get this straight. This kid is 19 years old, and a first string quarterback at a major D1 school...yet he can't outrun the cops?

I think ND may have issues beyond legal here.

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JayHawkFanToo 2 years, 3 months ago

A 19 year old with a 0.11 percent on a blood-alcohol test? I am surprised he could walk straight...

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NebraskaJayhawk 2 years, 3 months ago

If Self likes him, I like him. Look at the dude's shoulders. A year with Hudy and we have another beast inside within a year.

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Jack Wilson 2 years, 3 months ago

Here's why I'm not interested (unless coach Self believes he is a high level talent that would be a big time starter in 2013-14):

When Self is recruiting for 2013 and beyond, if we get Harris, we would now have Lucas, Peters, Traylor, and Harris. Remember when all the talk was that there were roadblocks to high level recruits and they would go elsewhere because of numbers? Four guys at the 4/5 spots. That's a roadblock. High level guys would likely come in and start at most schools, but combined with coach Self's lack of affinity for freshmen (generally), one can easily conclude that adding more bodies could only do harm to acquiring top guys.

Again, though .. while I do not defer to coach Self in blanket fashion in forming my opinion, I would hope that if Coach Self does take this player, that he views him as a major impact player starting his first eligible season, not just as depth. If he sees the kid as being at that high level, then by all means he'd be worth adding.

Of course, the liklihood of Lucas, Peters, and Traylor all being on the roster in 2013-14 is another subject .. see Quintrell Thomas.

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Alex Berger 2 years, 3 months ago

Also something to consider is that two of the top 6 PFs in 2013 (Randle and Walker) are interested in KU. With them being so good it might not deter them from coming but it would take spots away from our backcourt.

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kureader 2 years, 3 months ago

Guess I missed it somewhere ... why is Harris leaving South Carolina?

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Robert Brock 2 years, 3 months ago

He's afraid of Sargeant Major Frank Martin.

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Tony Bandle 2 years, 3 months ago

New coach...some new guy named Frank Martin..you know, quiet and withdrawn.

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Tony Bandle 2 years, 3 months ago

Holy Crap, Jesse...4:29 am posting??!!.....were you just coming in from a wild night??

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Mark Lindrud 2 years, 3 months ago

I say get him. He could be our starting center in a year. Lucas may not be ready his sophomore year and what other centers do we have once Withey is gone? Ellis and Peters are PF's and Traylor is a tweeter so it makes sense. Can't recruit big guys with all that depth? So what? We can wait one year to get a big man, but you really think Self can't find a big man? He will. He's built it, they will come!

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Tony Bandle 2 years, 3 months ago

"Tweeter"??????

Did you mean "Tweener"????

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Mark Lindrud 2 years, 3 months ago

Ugh dang typo. So everything I said and you focus on tweeter?

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Jack Wilson 2 years, 3 months ago

Rewind to 2011. Self specifically said that we missed on top big guys because we had Morris, Morris, TRob, and Withey, even when it was obvious to all that Marcus was turning pro and Kieff was a likely pro. If you believe coach Self, then we have to be worried about logjams or more importantly, the perception of logjams.

You say "so what"?

You don't win with average players in the post. Self will win more than most coaches, even with average players. But we need top level talent. Both of our primary post players this past season were top 50 guys.

In reality, we have a stable of average, pedestrian big guys right now (outside of Withey). You make a great point that Lucas might not even be ready his sophomore season. That fact doesn't bode well. You could have substituted Peters or Traylor and you'd also be correct.

We have guys that may develop into fine players -- guys that likely need time to develop, which I'm fine with, but we can't have too many of these guys that take up scholarships for post players .. we need room for guys that can produce more quickly.

We should only take this guy if .. if .. Self thinks he'll be a major impact player his first year of eligibility. If not, we'd be better off pursuing a 2013 freshman that will start.

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Curtis Stutz 2 years, 3 months ago

It's not like he wasn't a highly rated recruit, and I'd say he surpassed those fairly high expectations out of h.s. when he made def. 1st team all-SEC his sophomore year. True if it for sure costs us Walker or the like maybe it was a bad move, but if you can have a guy like this year after next with 3 yrs of cbb experience vs. a shot at a big name freshman? Bird in the hand in my book. Plus a super-talented PF can still come in and play alongside him, if not we might already have too much returning frontcourt talent. Really don't think people need to worry about backcourt talent either, if Tharpe, Adams, McLemore, White, Greene, Frennekamp are all going to be there, how many more backcourt players are you looking for? We don't know who else might choose KU in the '13 class, but if we get Harris we know we have a defensive anchor. Bad news with Harris is Bennett took UF off his list. Had he signed with them UF I think wouldn't have had a scholarship left to offer Harris. Also not crazy about UK adding another top10 player to their class, which they most likely will now. I figured UK to be top10, with Bennett they look to be right back in the top5.

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wrwlumpy 2 years, 3 months ago

a tweet is what Barbara Walters gives her dog.

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Curtis Stutz 2 years, 3 months ago

KU also hasn't had a lot of 5star recruits in the frontcourt during Self's tenure, I think the only one he really recruited so far was Shady. He played with a bundle of talented bigs and put up over 9.8 pts per in 19minutes hitting 53.8% from the field. Had the team not as been stacked as the 06/07 team, which was loaded, Arthur would have been a star as a freshmen. Hopefully Ellis is an impact starter, hard to compare him to Shady at all, but to me Shady will always be the MVP of the 08 title game. Bottom line I think given a talented enough freshmen not having to compete with talented upperclassmen, Self would have no problem making starters out of them. I'm all about signing Harris up if the opportunity is there, but there's no doubt in my mind he could be starting next to a freshman in 2 years. Would be nice to get a guy like Walker to hopefully shake off some of this stigma that Self doesn't play freshmen just 'cause Selby had a rough year at KU. Hopefully we both get our wish for a frosh star quickly and Ellis plays like a beast by tourney time next year.

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Dan Pawlowski 2 years, 3 months ago

You get the best you can now and do not worry about who that would keep from wanting to play for you later. Trying to control the future is a fools game.

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Curtis Stutz 2 years, 3 months ago

+1 Had a player of this caliber been available coming out of HS and considering just a few schools with KU involved I think most fans would applaud Self's efforts to get him, even if he was going to have to sit a year.

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lee3022 2 years, 3 months ago

Ah, the off season and its speculations running rampart. KU has shown itself to be a good destination for a big man transfer in Withey. Harris might be another but he is shorter than Withey by at least 3 inches. With his shot blocking % he likely has good length in his arm span. The lower defensive rebounding % is consistent with other shot blockers who concentrate on the shot and not the rebound.

What I want to know is who else leaves to free up another scholarship for Harris or Lyons?

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Curtis Stutz 2 years, 3 months ago

KU has 1 scholarship available right now, EJ, TRel, Withey, KYo, Tharpe, BMac, Traylor, Peters, Lucas, White, Adams, Ellis make 12, Wesley doesn't need to take up a scholarship, so Self can pick up 1 more this year, or he can give it to Wesley and save it for next year's class. In the case of Lyons he can use it and save it for next year's class. In the case of Harris it's a good opportunity to develop a guy for a year and have a nice shot blocker for the starters to practice against. A luxury the 11/12 team didn't have.

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Mel Clare 2 years, 3 months ago

Ok, so here is my 2 cents worth..........the past year our 3 point shooting was DREADFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Would everyone agree? Not near as good as 08 Championship year or with Reid shooting it couple years ago................here is my analysis...............

EJ will be a better shooter from 3 this year.....he has the stroke......and will be the senior leader..........

BMac is suppose to be lights out a stud and a deep shooter...........

White is coming in as a pure SHOOTER...............

And even Adams if he makes it to us comes in as a somewhat good outside shooter...

I am thinking that next years team would very much BENEFIT from a few guys who can stroke it from deep, thus opening up the inside ALOT more for Withey, Ellis, Traylor, Peters and Lucas to work inside....something that TRob and Withey really did not have this past year..........How many times did we watch as a team tripled TRob becasue we had NO threat from outside most of the time.......

What did we average? 3.2 made 3's a game? How good would it be to average 6 made 3's a game? How many more games would we have won? Including the championship against UK?

We will lose TRobs muscle down low, his intensity, his want to, his points, his rebounding........But I think it can be replaced with some good 3 point shooters, with some young big's like we have coming in who will learn from Withey, Young, Wesley what it takes to be really good and to be a Jayhawk! Also, these guys are coming in BIGGER than either Wesley or Young as far as height and weight..........they wont be the skinny rails that Young and Wesley look like.........I have watched Ellis play in person and he is the real deal guys..........get Hudy with him and watch out he may turn into a TRob clone!

Remember also...........BMac and Traylor have workouts, practice, discipline, semester under thier belts ahead of the freshman curve..............they will be expected to play and compete like sophmores.............already ahead of the game........

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Curtis Stutz 2 years, 3 months ago

I've also seen compelling posts before after a KU loss such as UNI or VCU of people saying had we just not taken any 3pters KU wins. In general when KU loses a tourney game they didn't shoot well from 3. This year KU actually hit 5 of 11 from out there in their tourney loss compared to 2 of 21 against VCU, 6 of 23 against UNI, 3 of 12 against Michigan St in '09, 3 of 12 against Memphis in '08.

Key stat in all those games is likely rebounding, KU had a big edge in '08, no edge against UNI and VCU and UK got an edge because AD/Jones/MKG rebounded like never before in that game. KU had a slight edge against MSU in '09, had them on the ropes and the offense shut down for the final 3 minutes as MSU dared anyone besides Collins to score while grabbing numerous offensive rebounds (so KU led overall rebounds but MSU dominated the boards in crunch time).

It's always frustrating when the 3's aren't falling, but 34.5% as a team isn't dreadful and I think was middle of the pack in B12 with KU having played a much tougher schedule than the rest of the B12.

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matlockhawk 2 years, 3 months ago

Any updates on Mr.Harris? Word was that he would announce his choice this week.

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Tony Bandle 2 years, 2 months ago

Maybe you better just drop this one!!!!

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doug8755 2 years, 2 months ago

enough already....this posting should be voided

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