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Wolf Pack player review: Jalen Harris posts a season like few others

Jalen Harris
Jalen Harris went on a historic scoring binge last season. (NSN file)

With the Nevada basketball season ending prematurely due to the coronavirus, we will recap the season of every scholarship player on the Wolf Pack’s roster and preview what is to come next season for that player. The players will be chronicled in alphabetical order. Today’s player: Jalen Harris.

Jalen Harris

2019-20 stats: 21.7 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 44.6 FG%, 36.2 3PT%, 82.3 FT%

Best game: Harris was brilliant in several games, so there are a lot of outings to choose from. We’ll pick his game at UNLV given the stage. Playing for a sweep of the rival Rebels, Harris tallied 29 points, a career-high 14 rebounds, five assists and two steals. He had 15 free throw attempts (making 11) and scored seven of Nevada’s final 10 points in an 82-79 overtime win as the Wolf Pack won its school-record sixth straight over the Rebels.

Season in review: Harris had a historic season, tallying six games of 30-plus points (and three more of 28 or 29). Those six 30-plus-point games were the fourth most in a season in the school’s Division I era (since 1969). He became the first Nevada player to score 30-plus points in four straight games. But his impact went beyond scoring. He was second on the team in rebounds, assists and steals and scored efficiently. He was voted first-team All-Mountain West and would have been MW player of the year if not for San Diego State's stellar season led by Malachi Flynn. Simply put, Harris posted one of the greatest seasons in school history in his first year in silver and blue after redshirting last year following a transfer from Louisiana Tech.



Number to note: 458 – Harris’ 458 points are the second most in conference play in MW history. The only player to score more in MW action in a single season is BYU’s Jimmer Fredette in 2010-11 when the Cougars’ star was named the national player of the year. Fredette tallied 502 games that season (in only 16 MW games compared to Harris’ 18). Fredette averaged 31.4 points per game in MW action, a figure that’s going to be hard to beat. But Harris’ 25.4 points per conference game also was elite.

A look ahead to next year: Harris has some options after his record-breaking season. He could test the NBA draft waters, although the draft combine and team workouts are sure to be curtailed due to the coronavirus spread. He also could try and graduate by the summer and transfer to a power-conference school for greater exposure. Obviously, Wolf Pack fans hope he takes path No. 3, which is to return to Reno for his senior season and try to get to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in his career (although he was in the womb when his mom played in the Big Dance). Harris hasn’t made any definitive decisions yet, but a pathway is expected to be picked in the coming days. Harris’ next move is the biggest remaining question mark for Nevada this offseason.

Columnist Chris Murray provides insight on Northern Nevada sports. Contact him at crmurray@sbgtv.com or follow him on Twitter @ByChrisMurray.

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