By Paul M. Banks
Michigan junior guard Manny Harris projects as a late first round draft pick this June, does that mean he should skip his senior season.
When asked about the Big Ten being dominated by it’s junior class, of which Harris is a part, he responded, “there’s a lot of seniors that could go on that list too.” Manny’s full name is Corperryale L’Adorable Harris, a combination of the names of his cousin Corrine, an uncle (Perry) and the “ale” of his immediate siblings—Janelle, Jerrelle and Al.His nickname, “Manny”, was given to him by his father after a character in Scarface.
His name is quite an impressive hybrid, and when I asked him about his favorite NBA players, or players that he possibly models his game on, Harris came up with a hybrid equally as long and as impressive as his name.
“I wouldn’t say model my game after him, but in terms of instinct: Kobe Bryant or Lebron James, I think I have that same killer instinct. Another guy is Chris Douglas-Roberts from the New Jersey Nets, he came from the same background in Detroit, and I respect him for that…Chris Paul is really good, and him or Deron Williams may be the best point guard. I really like Derrick Rose’s game and (Rajon) Rondo because he can do so much on the court.”
That similar background to CDR he spoke about was in reference to his formative years at Redford High School in Detroit, Michigan, where he was a two-time All-State first team selection and won the state’s Mr. Basketball award as a senior.He also led his team to three consecutive Detroit Public School League championships. Harris has continued his success at the college level, where he’s put together quite a resume:
2008–09 first team All-Big Ten selection, 2007–08 second team All-Big Ten, preseason all conference this year. During his sophomore season, he was the conference leader in free throws made, free throw percentage, and second leading scorer. Because of his accolades, being self assured may be Harris’ biggest strength as he seeks reaching the next level.
“Being the person I am and knowing that no one can take me. Just being confident, not cocky but confident about what I can do. You got to be that way,” Harris answered when I asked him what he brings to the table. With a frame a little bit on the Kate Moss side (6-5, 180), he needs to bulk up for the league. And he could probably help his stock immensely if he followed the lead of Illinois’ Demetri McCamey when it comes to shot selection. The Illini’s leading scorer has shown a vast improvement in that fundamental part of his game, and if Harris does likewise it would be a great complement to his athleticism, and pure scoring abilities.
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