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Harris, teammates see action in summer leagues

June 26, 2013
By John Wickline - Upshur Bureau Chief (jwickline@theintermountain.com) , The Inter-Mountain

Eron Harris is spending his summer trying to perfect his point guard skills for the upcoming West Virginia University basketball season.

Harris, along with some of his Mountaineer teammates, are playing in a summer basketball league in Pittsburgh, and coach Bob Huggins said the sophomore has taken to the role.

"He has embraced it," Huggins said Tuesday in a teleconference with fellow Big 12 coaches. "We recruited him as a combo (point and shooting guard). He gives us another guy on the floor who can score. It's great to have a guy at that position who can score."

Harris led the team in scoring last year, averaging 9.8 points per game. He made 17 starts in the 31 games he played. He and fellow sophomore Terry Henderson will be counted on for their leadership skills this year.

"We lacked veteran leadership a year ago," Huggins said. "They are ready, willing and capable to lead."

Another of those Mountaineers playing in the Pittsburgh league is newcomer Nathan Adrian. He is quickly learning the pace of playing Division I basketball against the likes of players from Pitt, Duquesne and Robert Morris.

"It's an opportunity to play against different guys with different skill sets," Huggins said.

Huggins said he hopes his team learned a lesson from its debut season in the Big 12, saying it was vastly different from the style of play previously seen in the Big East Conference.

"The Big 12 is more of a penetrate-and-pitch league," Huggins said. "The Big 12 people played smaller. It is more of a skill league. The officiating was different.

"It was a big learning experience," he added. "We're still trying to figure out the best way for travel. The league is trying to help us with that issue. Hopefully, we will be better equipped to deal with those things."

But achieving the success level to which Mountaineer fans expect from Huggins may prove to be difficult. Huggins pointed out that the Big 12 Conference has six coaches who have taken teams to the Final Four.

"I don't know if there has ever been a league where 60 percent of the coaches have taken a team to the Final Four," he said. "That's extremely impressive, and a few of these guys have actually won a national championship."

 
 

 

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