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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

doug8755 1 year, 10 months ago

enough already....this posting should be voided

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Tony Bandle 1 year, 10 months ago

Maybe you better just drop this one!!!!

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matlockhawk 1 year, 11 months ago

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

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Mel Clare 1 year, 11 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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lee3022 1 year, 11 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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Dan Pawlowski 1 year, 11 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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Ralster Jayhawk 1 year, 11 months ago

HEM has some good points. The rub with Self is we, so far, havent seen him "start" a frosh bigman yet, other than Marcus. Yes, Shady+Cole got mpg, but off the bench. Even with future lotto-pick Marcus, he got roughed up as a frosh. If you look at our high-ranked bigs, who also went on to be NBA draft picks, only Marcus started as a frosh. Shady=little contribution, other than making Joakim Noah cry like a baby in 1 great frosh showing. Cole=little contribution, other than serving 1 major facial to Tyler Hansborough. Markieff=did less than Marcus. TRob=little more than a good-looking specimen of potential...

My point: all of our bigmen lottopicks had forgettable frosh seasons. And this despite Selfball naturally 'showcasing' bigs with the high-low as it allows them every aspect of the game, if they are capable...(my second point).

Of course I would want this "trend" to break, and have a frosh star, but I will believe it when I see it.

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wrwlumpy 1 year, 11 months ago

a tweet is what Barbara Walters gives her dog.

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Mark Lindrud 1 year, 11 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 1 year, 11 months ago

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

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kureader 1 year, 11 months ago

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

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Jack Wilson 1 year, 11 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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NebraskaJayhawk 1 year, 11 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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KGphoto 1 year, 11 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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AsadZ 1 year, 11 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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jhox 1 year, 11 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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bville_hawk 1 year, 11 months ago

Nice analysis, Jesse. Objective and thorough,

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