Thursday, February 26, 2009

Judgement Day For Harris

Today is the day we find out who Manny Harris truly is.

You can’t judge a kid by how he plays in one game, I agree. But tonight’s game against Purdue will tell us what kind of player Manny Harris has become up to this point.

Yes, he’s been immature at times. He basically took himself out of the Wisconsin game New Year’s Eve after repeatedly driving to the hole and not getting the calls he wanted. Bo Ryan was showing Manny that all Harris could do was shot jumpshots that night, and Manny didn’t try to show him otherwise.

Against Iowa and against Purdue, Harris wasn’t as assertive as he needed to be. The Purdue defense extended themselves and forced him to take some bad shots before getting tossed by the refs. At Iowa, it was his own coach who took him out of the game, but not before Harris had a dismal night from the field and didn’t run the last play of regulation (allegedly).

Harris will probably be named All-Big Ten 1st team based on his stats and reputation. But in big games, and in big scenarios, Harris has continued to disappear. Duke, UConn, and MSU were the three biggest games Michigan played this season, and can anyone recall Harris’ numbers in any of those games? Didn’t think so. Those are the games big players show up for, and those are the games people remember how many points the star player went for. People will remember how DeShawn Sims dropped 28 on Duke at Crisler. Harris has yet to have his memorable moment.

There’s a scene from the first season of The Wire, where the gangster “Omar” tells a detective that “Either you play the game, or the game plays you.” Manny has let “the game” play him plenty of times this season, content to be a bystander. On the other hand, Harris has played the game brilliantly, with flashes of brilliance in big games (18, 8, and 5 against Iowa at home).

Tonight, Harris gets one last shot to show the committee that he is done letting the game play him. This is his chance to show the tournament committee that Michigan still has some life.

This is his chance at a memorable moment.

For more on Harris, UM basketball, and a baseball update...check back tomorrow.

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