Everybody Stop Overlooking Manny Harris Right Now!

Jameson FlemingSenior Writer INovember 12, 2008

I'll say it again. Everyone needs to stop overlooking Manny Harris right now. I did here, here, and here.

And I regret it deeply.

But no more. Manny Harris is on my radar and should be on the radar of any college basketball fan. The sophomore guard/wing can really do everything on the floor.

The Wolverine guard has done everything right during his first year and two games in Ann Arbor. His only fault? Playing for a team that's been mediocre during his time on campus.

But Harris is going to change that and change it quickly. He averaged 16.1 points per game last year in leading Michigan to a measly 10 wins, but coaches and Big Ten pundits will both admit, the Wolverines played much better as the season wore on.

The Big Ten's leading returning scorer had a big part in that. Harris was held below double-digits just three times and eclipsed the 20-point mark five times during the Big Ten schedule.

Harris has continued to progress into a phenomenal playmaker during his second and what could be his final season in college basketball.

Former Duke star Jay Williams provided the color commentary during ESPNU's broadcast of Michigan's first two games against Michigan Tech and Northeastern. Williams couldn't stop raving about the sophomore guard's talent and NBA potential as he recounted stories of Harris matching up well against NBA players at basketball camps.

The future Big Ten Player of the Year candidate showed off his skills in the Wolverines' first two games to back up Williams' gloating.

Against Division II foe Michigan Tech, Harris repeatedly made plays that would have put points on the board against any team. He finished the game with an outstanding two points per shot ratio after scoring 30 points on just 15 field goal attempts.

Harris repeatedly got to the basket, using his shoulder to lead his way and create space on his path to the basket. He showed a strong ability to finish near the basket, but also draw fouls.

The sophomore guard made nine trips to the free throw line, sinking almost 80 percent of his attempts from the charity stripe.

The deeper three-point line also didn't scare Harris. He drained three-of-five attempts from long distance.

As great as Harris was against Michigan Tech, he outdid himself Wednesday night against Northeastern.

The Huskies are no slouch. NE was picked to finish near the top of the Colonial Athletic Association.

But Harris seemed to be unfazed by the tougher opponent. The Wolverine guard went off for 26 points on just nine field goal attempts. Harris finished six-of-nine from the floor and one-of-two from three. Harris continued to shoot well from the free throw, line hitting 13-of-14 attempts.

What Harris did to stuff the stat sheet is what made this game special. Harris was just two assists away from his first career triple-double. He finished the game with 10 rebounds and eight more assists, plus a block and a steal.

Manny Harris is quickly becoming one of the most complete players in the Big Ten and, down the road, in the country.

Remember the name Manny Harris in December when Michigan will take on Maryland and Duke on national TV in back-to-back games. The Wolverines will also be in New York City later next week for the final two rounds of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic.

If you missed him this week, you can't afford to miss him then.