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Nevada's Jalen Harris a top-25 player in the nation next year? ESPN says so

Jalen Harris
Jalen Harris will be one of the nation's top players if he returns to Nevada for his senior season. (Byrne Photo/Nevada athletics)

ESPN released its list of the top 25 players of the 2020-21 college basketball season, and Nevada's Jalen Harris made the cut.

That shouldn't really come as a surprise. Harris was a top-25 player in last year's college basketball. By one metric, he was the 20th-best player in the country during his junior season with the Wolf Pack. Harris finished 14th in the nation in scoring at 21.7 points per game and was the only Division I player to average at least 21 points, six rebounds, 3.5 assists and one steal per game last season.

ESPN filtered out the players expected to turn pro next season and placed Harris at No. 24 in the nation for the 2020-21 campaign. The website writes of the Wolf Pack star (h/t to @JGrauvogel for the link):

Having sat out a season after transferring in from Louisiana Tech, Harris played like a man with something to prove in Reno. During one memorable stretch spanning late January and early February, the 6-5 junior poured in 186 points over the course of just six outings. Harris was highly productive in that run even when his outside shooting touch deserted him. Despite going 0-for-8 from beyond the arc against UNLV, he recorded a 29-18 double-double to lead the Wolf Pack to an 82-79 victory in overtime.

Harris wasn't the only MW player to make the list. San Diego State point guard Malachi Flynn, a second-team AP All-American, was placed at No. 2 behind Iowa's Luke Garza. Of course, the big question is whether Flynn and Harris will even be college players next season. Flynn is rated as a top-50 prospect in this year's NBA draft while Harris is further down the board but could make the jump to the professional level.

Harris put in a request to get draft feedback from the NBA’s Undergraduate Advisory Committee. That information began being sent out late last week. The NBA's early-entry deadline is 60 days before the draft, which would give Harris an April 25 deadline on whether to test the NBA waters if the draft date remains unchanged. It is unknown if the draft date will move as the NBA quarrels with suspension of the season due to the coronavirus.

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