Harris Unstoppable Heading Into Matchup At Rice
Sophomore DeAndre Harris Averaging 16 Points Over Last Two Games
North Texas (6-8, 0-2 C-USA) vs. Rice (4-9, 1-1 C-USA)
HOUSTON - The jump from junior college to Division I basketball can be tricky for any player, let alone a player who sat out the previous season. Some folks take up to a year to adjust, but after 14 games it's safe to say DeAndre Harris has acclimated to his surroundings.
Recruited by Tony Benford and the North Texas coaching staff for his tremendous athleticism, Harris missed the 2013-14 season at Tyler JC after having his tonsils taken out - a calculated risk for Harris and the Mean Green. On one hand, Harris might have some extra rust to shake off before making an impact in Denton, but on the other, he will have three full seasons of eligibility for North Texas.
After suffering through a month of frustrations, bad shots and jittery turnovers, Harris is showing the potential he had as an all-state player coming out of high school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
He averaged 3.8 points on 29.1 percent shooting in the season's first seven games, but showed progression over the next five games and poured in 7.8 points on 38.9 percent.
Harris has been unstoppable over the last two outings, reaching double-figures inside the first 15 minutes. The sophomore is averaging 16.0 points on 54.5 percent shooting in those two games.
North Texas will need Harris to be on his game against a resurgent Rice squad on Saturday. The last seven matchups between Rice and North Texas have been decided by an average of 2.4 points per game - including six games decided on the last possession, and two in overtime.
Rice is among the nation's top perimeter shooting teams. The Owls lead C-USA and rank 21st in the NCAA with 8.5 3-pointers per game. Marcus Jackson ranks 4th in C-USA with 2.4 makes per game, while Bishop Mency isn't far behind at 12th with 1.7 3-pointers per game.