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Psychological Harris-ment

In a season that started out with grand expectations for Donte Greene and Jonny Flynn, Paul Harris was beginning his second season with the Orange and for many he was already considered an afterthought. It didn't help when Greene and Flynn put up big numbers and Harris seemed to add decent but not spectacular points and rebounds. A year removed from expectations that he was the next Carmelo, he seemed to be accepting his fate as a role player.

Then the Villanova game happened. You know which one.
"I didn't play half as good as I can play," he said. "Not at all. I didn't even really try to get rebounds. Some of them just kind of fell into my hands. And I didn't score as much. If I'd have made some game-changing plays - like, get offensive rebounds or anything - we could have won. I take the blame."
We knew there was really only two ways this could do. One was very badly. Harris could crawl deeper into his shell, his numbers and playing time would decrease. Rumors about his open disdain for Boeheim would circulate. He'd miss some practices and be excused from a game or two. Finally, we'd hear that Harris wasn't making the trip to the Big East Tournament and soon after, he would transfer.
OR...he'd transform himself. Well thank God for that.

Just look at the stats. In the 19 games from the beginning of the season to the Villanova loss, Harris averaged 13.1 PPG. In the 11 games since, he's averaging 16.9 PPG (including four 20+ point games). He rekindled his connection on the court with Jonny Flynn and seems to finally be enjoying himself again.

Whatever it was, be it the shame of not living up to expectations beyond his control or the proof that it wasn't "his team," Harris needed to work through it. Kudos to the coaching staff for working with him as Harris' renewed game is one of those coaching victories that won't show up in any record books or stat sheets.

Good for Paul and good for Paul III and Nakyhi, pictured right. That's Paul's Facebook photo (Thanks Ryan) and I have to's an honorable, beautiful and sweet photo between a father and his sons...and I hope to God his teammates are pasting it up all over the locker room and weight room every chance they get.