Razorback Report:

PG Harris takes lead in nation

By: Tom Murphy
Published: Tuesday, December 18, 2018
Arkansas guard Jalen Harris (5) drives to the basket while being defended by Texas-San Antonio guard Adokiye Iyaye (11) during the first half of the Razorbacks' 79-67 win on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018, at Verizon Arena in North Little Rock.
Photo by Thomas Metthe
Arkansas guard Jalen Harris (5) drives to the basket while being defended by Texas-San Antonio guard Adokiye Iyaye (11) during the first half of the Razorbacks' 79-67 win on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018, at Verizon Arena in North Little Rock.

FAYETTEVILLE -- University of Arkansas guard Jalen Harris took over the national lead in assist-to-turnover ratio after another big performance against Texas-San Antonio last week.

The sophomore had 10 assists, as well as 11 points, and did not record a turnover in the Hogs' 79-67 victory over the Roadrunners at Verizon Arena in North Little Rock.

Harris improved his assist to turnover ratio to 7.56 to 1. He has 68 assists and nine turnovers.

"It means a lot, knowing that I'm finding my guys but taking care of it as well," Harris said. "It means a lot knowing that coach has that much trust in me to have the ball in my hands that much."

Harris has 10-plus assists in four games, topped by 12 in a 98-74 victory at Colorado State. He has had no turnovers in three games, including the past two, and a season high of two turnovers.

"Jalen is a point guard that can score, but he'd rather look to pass the ball," forward Reggie Chaney said. "Honestly, I've never played with a point guard like Jalen. I just like the way he dishes off the ball. He's just fast. He's got a real high IQ."

Harris has assisted on 38.5 percent of Arkansas' field goals to rank No. 17 in the country.

Coach Mike Anderson compares Harris to Razorback great Lee Mayberry.

"He's pretty crafty with the basketball," Anderson said. "He's quick, and he can get where he wants to go, and of course now you're playing in an open-court setting, and he does a lot of damage in the open court because he doesn't over-dribble.

"He's getting everybody involved. He's taking care of it, and I think about Lee Mayberry. He was a guy who could probably play 10-12 games and not have one turnover. And this guy is doing some of those things and valuing the basketball. That's a good thing."

Harris, who practiced with the Hogs all of last season as a transfer, wasn't sure how things would work out at Arkansas, so his status as the national leader is a big deal.

"Especially coming off my freshman year at New Mexico, not really knowing what I was going to get myself into coming here," Harris said. "So it's real big."

Top stripe

The Razorbacks are coming off their best free-throw shooting game of the season at 27 of 34 (79 percent) in their 79-67 victory over Texas-San Antonio.

The Hogs were 9 of 16 (56.3 percent), their third-lowest free-throw shooting percentage of the season, the week before that.

Slow 'Dro

Junior forward Adrio Bailey has struggled the past two games with 1-of-9 shooting and 2 points as the Razorbacks split games against Western Kentucky and Texas-San Antonio.

Bailey had 4 fouls in both games and added a combined 8 rebounds, 3 turnovers and 3 blocked shots.

"You think about what kind of player Adrio is, Adrio is an energy guy," Coach Mike Anderson said. "He's an effort guy. So his effort has to be at a high level. Of course, he's worked on his game to get better offensively, but what he brings to the table is a level of toughness, athletic ability, defensive mindset. I just think the energy that he brings to the table, he's got to be consistent with it."

Freshman Reggie Chaney started the second half against UTSA on Saturday at the power forward spot for the second time this season.

Yo, Joe

Freshman guard Isaiah Joe tied a season high with three turnovers in the 12-point victory over UTSA while he was hitting 5 of 6 three-point shots and leading the Razorbacks with 21 points.

Joe had two turnovers in the first half and one in the second.

"Those were just careless mistakes, to be honest with you," Joe said. "Not necessarily nerves. I don't normally turn it over like that, but you're going to have those games. You've just got to be able to bounce back from it."

Seventh visit

Georgia Tech's appearance at Walton Arena on Wednesday will be the seventh for a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference on the road against the Razorbacks.

Arkansas has a 4-2 record in the previous games, including an 85-53 trouncing of Wake Forest on Nov. 19, 2014, in the last visit by an ACC school.

The Yellow Jackets will make their first appearance at Walton Arena.

Net ranks

The Razorbacks are one of nine SEC schools in the top 75 of the NCAA's self-generated NET rankings. Arkansas is No. 64 in the rankings. The others SEC schools are No. 6 Tennessee, No. 15 Auburn, No. 17 Mississippi State, No. 30 Kentucky, No. 34 LSU, No. 47 Ole Miss, No. 52 Florida and No. 74 Vanderbilt.

Sports on 12/18/2018

Discussion

Have a comment on this story? Join the discussion or start a new one on the Forums.