Milwaukee Wisconsin Basketball

UW-Milwaukee’s Demetrius Harris, future NFL star?

Leave a comment

Demetrius Harris is looking to become the next undersized power forward that trades in his Jordans for football spikes.

As a senior with UW-Milwaukee, Harris averaged 9.1 points and 5.3 boards, hitting just over 44% of his free throws for a team that went 8-24 in the Horizon League. That’s not exactly a way to earn the eyes of NBA scouts, especially when you stand just over 6-foot-5 and weigh close to 240 lbs.

But that is the way to draw the attention of the NFL, especially when you were an all-state football player as a high schooler in Arkansas.

According to a report from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, more than a dozen NFL teams have taken interest in Harris, including the Kansas City Chiefs:

Chiefs area scout Ryan Kessenich, a Madison native and 2006 graduate of UWM, put Harris through his paces April 5 on campus at Engelmann Field, the Panthers’ soccer stadium, and the Klotsche Center.

According to the Chiefs, Harris ran 40 yards in 4.52 seconds to go with a vertical jump of 36½ inches and a broad jump of 10-2.

“Like I told all the (NFL) coaches, if you want him to shoot free throws, that’s not your man. But if you want him to catch a football, he can do that,” head coach Rob Jeter said. “I think he was a football player all along and we were trying to make him a basketball player.”

Undersized power forwards are the best tight ends prospects. Ask Jimmy Graham and Antonio Gates. Could Harris end up being the next member of that pipeline?

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

POSTERIZED: Wyoming’s Josh Adams takes flight

Josh Adams
Associated Press
Leave a comment

Not only is Wyoming senior guard Josh Adams the lone returning starter from a team that won the Mountain West tournament last season, but he’s also one of college basketball’s best dunkers. And if anyone may have forgotten about his jumping ability, Adams put it on display Saturday during the Cowboys’ win over Montana State.

After splitting two Montana State players at the top of the key Adams attacked the basket, dunking with two hands over a late-arriving help-side defender. If you’re going to rotate over, have to do it quicker than that.

Video credit: Wyoming Athletics

Defensive progress will determine No. 4 Iowa State’s ceiling

Monte Morris
Associated Press
Leave a comment

Even with the coaching change from Fred Hoiberg to Steve Prohm, No. 4 Iowa State remains one of the nation’s best offensive teams. Given their skills on that end of the floor many teams find it tough to go score for score with the Cyclones, and that’s what happened to Illinois in Iowa State’s 84-73 win in the Emerald Coast Classic title game.

Georges Niang scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds, with Monté Morris adding 20, nine rebounds and six assists and Abdel Nader 18 points as the Cyclones moved to 5-0 on the season. The three-pointers weren’t falling in the second half, as Iowa State shot 0-f0r-12, but they shot 19-for-24 inside of the arc to pull away from a team that lost big man Mike Thorne Jr. late in the first half to a left knee injury.

Illinois’ loss of size in the paint opened things up offensively for Iowa State, and the Cyclones took advantage. But where this group grabbed control of the game was on the defensive end of the floor, and that will be the key for a team with Big 12 and national title aspirations.

Nader took on the responsibility of defending Illinois’ Malcolm Hill (20 points) in the second half and did a solid job of keeping the junior wing in check, with that serving as the spark to a 12-2 run that put the game away. There’s no denying that the Cyclones can put points on the board; most of the talent from last season is back and the productivity on that end of the floor hasn’t changed as a result. Niang’s one of the nation’s best forwards, and both Morris (who now ranks among the country’s best point guards) and Nader have taken significant strides in their respective games.

Iowa State will add Deonte Burton in December, giving them another option to call upon. Front court depth is a bit of a concern, as Iowa State can ill afford to lose a Niang or Jameel McKay, but there’s enough on the roster to compensate for that and force mismatches in other areas.

But the biggest question for this group is how effective they can become at stringing together stops. Illinois certainly had its moments in both halves Saturday night, but Iowa State also showed during the game’s decisive stretch that they can step up defensively. The key now is to do so consistently, and if that occurs the Cyclones can be a threat both within the Big 12 and nationally.