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View Full Version : Bud Withers: "Elias Harris hopes to finish Gonzaga career in Final Four"



ZagNative
03-18-2013, 11:56 PM
From our friend Mr. Withers at the Seattle-Times (http://seattletimes.com/html/gonzaga/2020590172_gonzagamen19.html)

SPOKANE After Michael Harris spent a weekend with his son for Senior Day festivities two weeks ago, they parted. Harris said he regretted not being able to be with Gonzaga for the early stages of the NCAA basketball tournament.

"My plan is to meet them in Atlanta," said Harris.

Whether the Zags have the chops, and the magic, to find their way to the Final Four is a question mark. But it was similarly doubtful Elias Harris would be there for the long haul for Gonzaga, and here he is, a 132-game starter and the most prolific combination scorer/rebounder in school history.
Fact is, he's richly appreciated by the Gonzaga coaches, right down to his understated personality and personal habits.

"Good dude, really good dude," says Gonzaga coach Mark Few. "Incredibly humble. We were just talking about how low-maintenance he's been over the course of his entire career. There's been nothing, zero, never an issue where we had to bring him in and had to have a meeting.

"He lives by himself and his apartment is immaculate. You take your shoes off when you go in."

Few laughs. "He's not your typical college basketball player."
After his big introductory season, injuries caused his numbers to recede slightly as a sophomore, and following both of his first two years, he left campus to play with the German nationals, which Few thinks ######ed his progress.

"They were playing games," Few says. "It's not like he was ever getting to work on himself."

After staying last summer, he has averaged 14.9 points this season, matching his freshman total, with 7.4 rebounds a game. His career point total of 1,840 puts him fourth, only 27 behind Adam Morrison, and his 964 rebounds is tops in what Few calls the "modern era," second overall only to Jerry Vermillion's (1952-55) 1,670 in Gonzaga's pre-Division I period, a time of gargantuan numbers on the boards.
"A lot of people have asked me all year, 'Are you a three or a four?' " Harris says. "My answer is, 'I'm a basketball player. Put me in a position and I'll figure it out.' "

He says he's fine having played cameo to Olynyk's big year.

"Do I get overshadowed a little bit?" he asks. "Maybe. Does it bother me? Not really. At the end of the day, the people besides the media the experts, the coaches and scouts they see what I'm doing."

The sheer numbers would say that's been considerable. Now the challenge is for the Zags to have as much staying power in the tournament as Elias Harris had at Gonzaga.Love you, Elias...

ValencyLovesZagsInAtlanta
03-19-2013, 01:16 AM
"the experts, the coaches and scouts they see what I'm doing."

What they see in my most humble of opinions is an unselfish team player willing to tap into his god given resources which includes the great intangible of finding resolve to incorporate his game into the team concept.

EH is the most important player for Gonzaga in this tournament because of his seniority/experience (it won't all show up in the box score). Kelly will cement his legacy and NBA aspirations as the team continues to win. Sam is an indispensable piece laying the framework for his enhanced role next year. Hart is just that the heart and glue that continues to persevere as the basketball promised land is his true home. GBJ is the quiet assassin grooming his game for his inevitable big shot capabilities and defensive prowess on the perimeter. KP has to be our rock in the back court Steve Nash style and treat the basketball as if it is the Le Bijou du Roi otherwise known as the magnificent Hope Diamond. When the Hope Diamond is being transported and in the possession of others temporarily Kevin must defend/security and watch that diamond (the basketball) and get it back in his possession without any damage to it (uncontested shots by those transporting the diamond). Sam, Drew, Stocks, Kyle, Guy and Karno are reserves that must be ready to be called up for active duty in this upcoming basketball war at all times. Our tournament lives could easily depend on their preparedness.

I personally believe Elias is going to get his shot in the NBA after he helps lead the Zags to the promised land. No player benefits more at the moment from the over all team success IMO then Elias.

Very nice read per the usual. Thx Bud. :)

Let's take our first 2 steps to the promised land on Thursday and Saturday with resolve and fortitude.

Warmest
Vxo

Hoopaholic
03-19-2013, 02:07 AM
Absolutely the key to our success both with his energy, intensity, desire, rebounding, defensive and ability to exploit the matchup that will be forced upon other teams when they shift focus towards ko.....Elias will be in full damage mode. Let the beast exist

Zagger
03-19-2013, 05:38 AM
Just watch, Harris is going to shine in the NCAA games. He's good and he knows what to do. I think we'll see some good scoring from Harris (3s even) and he'll get more than one opponent in foul trouble. The Zags are going to frustrate every team they play. Like one opponent's coach said this season on how to beat the Zags, "Play six guys".
Go Harris! Go Zags!

rijman
03-19-2013, 06:43 AM
Thanks for the link. One thing I've noticed about Harris is he seems humble and quiet off the court, but he plays very aggressive and physical on the court. What a journey he's had with GU, he deserves to go out on top.

Zagnificent
03-19-2013, 07:23 AM
I have loved watching Harris play at Gonzaga. One memory that will always stay with me is watching him try to pick out milk at Safeway right after his arrival on campus. He approached the milk fridges and just starred at it, not knowing what to pick out or what the various percentages meant. He stood there for a few minutes, without even opening the door, just taking in the situation and trying to decide what to do next. Finally, one of the girls that he was with opened the door for him, grabbed a gallon of 2%, and said "follow me." He did. Apparently they do things a little different in Germany.

gamagin
03-19-2013, 08:35 AM
"S" under his Zag jersey. I hope Superman shows up for the NCAA run, right on through the FF to the finish. Because we need him to win it all.

Zageist
03-19-2013, 09:32 AM
funny, that's my hope too.

hooter73
03-19-2013, 10:00 AM
Such a big fan of his. the humbleness, strength, leadership... what a total and complete player that has made this team, but more so this school, what it is.

Crazy
03-20-2013, 02:55 AM
The possibility seemed enhanced by reports that Harris, playing for a club team in his hometown of Speyer, Germany, had been paid before he entered college. The NCAA vetted the issue, however, and Harris suffered no ineligibility.

"It was a brand new club, it had no money," says the senior Harris, referring to BIS Speyer, his son's team. "I always said to Elias, 'Don't sign any paperwork where it's saying they're paying you.' "

This part was in my memory a bit different, at that time you get punished while you a playing for a team with at least one paid player. In this division, it was quite typical to have local player who ain't professionals, young talent who also have a contract with teams from higher division and usually some real professionells mostly from the USA.

If i remember correctly Speyer had the money, to pay some professional and give Elias teammates little benefits for playing but they decided to stay amateur to keep Elias eligibility for college ball. I like to point it out, since this decision deserve lot of respect for the whole team.

GoZags
03-20-2013, 05:56 AM
This part was in my memory a bit different, at that time you get punished while you a playing for a team with at least one paid player. In this division, it was quite typical to have local player who ain't professionals, young talent who also have a contract with teams from higher division and usually some real professionells mostly from the USA.

If i remember correctly Speyer had the money, to pay some professional and give Elias teammates little benefits for playing but they decided to stay amateur to keep Elias eligibility for college ball. I like to point it out, since this decision deserve lot of respect for the whole team.

You have it correct, Crazy and thank you for making this distinction. Not one player on Elias' team took money. They do deserve a lot of respect for ensuring that Elias would be able to play college basketball in the USA. Here's a bigtime tip of the cap to Elias' Speyer teammates.