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NC State basketball season review: Blake Harris edition

Can Harris become a meaningful part of the rotation in 2020?

NCAA Basketball: N.C. State at Boston College Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Previously on Wolfpack hoops review:

DJ Funderburk
Devon Daniels
Braxton Beverly
Jericole Hellems
CJ Bryce
Markell Johnson

In 1.5 seasons at the high-major level, Blake Harris has played a total of 480 minutes—not quite 11 minutes per game—so we can’t really make any concrete conclusions about what we’ve seen from him on the court up until now. Other than that he’s not been good enough to earn a lot of trust from his head coaches.

As you can see above, Harris’ already modest minutes shrunk some more once NC State hit conference play, and in any event, he didn’t account for many of the Wolfpack’s shots while he was out there. Which was an appropriate amount of restraint on his part, since he’s yet to show any sort of consistency as a shooter.

That’s what’s holding him back, but it doesn’t mean he’s doomed to be stuck at the tail end of the rotation for his entire career. In recent memory, we’ve seen both Cat Barber and Markell Johnson go from bad shooters to good ones over the course of a few seasons, and while Harris is not as talented as either of them, there’s no reason he can’t follow a similar trajectory, albeit one with a lower ceiling.

If he’s working hard this offseason and can show marked improvement in the shooting department, he definitely has valuable skills in other areas that will argue for more minutes. His quickness is already a significant plus—not only was he disruptive in limited action in creating steals, he was also good at drawing fouls. Those are impact areas with more minutes. And it means he can definitely fit into what Kevin Keatts wants to do at both ends of the floor.

There were small signs of progress last season: his improvement at the free throw line, his good perimeter shooting in highly selective opportunities. But he’ll have to show a lot more growth than that if he’s going to be a key part of the rotation come 2020.