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BREAKING: Arkansas Grad Transfer Jalen Harris Commits to Georgetown

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Ewing gets an experienced point guard

Auburn v Arkansas Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Jalen Harris, a 6’2” grad transfer point guard, has committed to Georgetown. Harris played in all 32 games for the Razorbacks in the 2019-2020 season, averaging 4.2 points, 2.1 rebounds, & 2.4 assists per contest.

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New beginnings

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Harris will get the chance to play major minutes for a Hoyas team next season that lacks veteran leadership at the point guard spot, similar to the role Terrell Allen filled so admirably this season.

With Omer Yurtseven likely gone, the Hoyas still have two open scholarships to fill on the roster next season, and possibly three should Mac McClung remain in the NBA Draft. The Hoyas have been pursuing a number of transfers and recruits.

Welcome to the Hilltop, Jalen Harris!

Jalen Harris enters transfer portal | WHITEHALLJOURNAL

It will be the third school in five years for Harris, a freshman who played 31 games as a 2016-2017 freshman for the University of New Mexico, transferred to former Arkansas Coach Mike Anderson’s Razorbacks in 2017-2018 while having to redshirt, lettered for Anderson’s 2018-2019 Razorbacks starting all 34 games, averaging 7.6 points, 5.6 assists and 2.9 rebounds and lettered again in 2019-2020 for Coach Eric Musselman’s Razorbacks. Mostly playing off the bench as sixth man behind senior graduate transfer point guard Jimmy Whitt, junior guard Mason Jones and sophomore guards Isaiah Joe, Harris played in all 32 games averaging 4.2 points, 2.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists.

Arkansas’ Jalen Harris enters transfer portal | ELDORADONEWS

Harris saw his playing decrease this season after he started all 34 games as a sophomore and averaged 7.6 points, 5.6 assists sand 2.9 rebounds in 30.8 minutes. This season Harris played in all 32 games, but with only five starts, and averaged 4.2 points, 2.4 assists and 2.1 rebounds in 24.3 minutes. Harris’ final game with the Razorbacks was one of his better performances this season. He started and had seven points, five assists and one steal in 31 minutes in Arkansas’ 86-73 victory over Vanderbilt in the SEC Tournament.

2019-20 season review: Jalen Harris | WHOLEHOGSPORTS

Although his playing time decreased 6.5 minutes per game year over year, he was still a solid distributor. His 17.2 percent assist rate was second best on the team behind Mason Jones, according to KenPom. In the five games he did start as a junior, he averaged 3.4 assists. That figure was 2.2 in games he came off the bench. He recorded at least four assists in a game seven times this season, including a season-high six against TCU. He picked up the Razorbacks’ pace of play when on the floor...

Over the first four SEC games, he played 80 minutes without a turnover, and in the first six, he committed just two in 131 minutes on the floor. Harris did not turn the ball over in eight games in 2019-20, and he played 20-plus minutes in six of them...

Improved a bit as 3-point shooter. Harris had nowhere to go but up in terms of his perimeter shooting after his sophomore season. He shot under 12 percent beyond the arc, hitting only 8 of 69 attempts. In 2019-20, he took eight fewer 3s but made nine more than the previous year.

Arkansas basketball needs big play from guards | 247SPORTS (9/2019)

Harris, 6-2, 166, is expected to start at point guard again this season after averaging 7.6 points, 2.9 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game last season. The main area where he needs to improve is 3-point shooting after knocking down a paltry 11.6 percent a year ago on 8 of 69 shooting. He also struggled at the free throw line for a guard, knocking down 82 of 119 (68.9 percent). In Thursday’s open practice, his shot looked better with less wasted motion, and Musselman said that he does rework players’ shots if they are struggling.

“I think a lot of it with shooting is mental, too,” Musselman said. “He’s been getting in reps, he looks really good and shooting the ball on his own. I feel like his confidence is growing. Having said that, now I think anytime with any upperclassman, it comes down to whether you’re a baseball hitter, you get in grooves or get in slumps. I think with J5, it’s really just getting him into a game and him knocking down a couple threes and then what we see behind closed doors. Hopefully he’ll shoot the ball at a much higher rate this year.”

State of the Hoops Program: Eric Musselman starts anew at... | THEATHLETIC

[J]unior Jalen Harris [was] the leading returning assist man in the SEC (5.5 per game in 2018-19). Harris has tried to get used to playing off the ball for the first time this summer to prepare for those two-point-guard lineups. “It doesn’t really matter who gets the ball,” Harris said. “We both have a lot of speed. It’s kind of fun playing with a guy like that.” Whitt and Harris are excellent penetrators who don’t turn over the ball much. But they must give defenses a reason not to sag off of them...

Harris made just eight of his 69 3-point tries a year ago for an abysmal 11.6 percent clip. The new staff noticed Harris was leaning back on his jump shot last season, so he’s been shooting with a new form all summer. “I should be a way better shooter than I was last year,” he said. “It’s all about confidence.”