Our Big Blue Bahamas Tour review kicks back into gear with a look at the play of Aaron “Big Shot” Harrison.
When last we saw the sophomore from Texas, Harrison was winning white-knuckler NCAA Tournament games with long and dramatic shots. Aaron’s three-pointer from the deep corner helped send Rick Pitino and Louisville packing. Aaron’s dagger of a three knocked Michigan out of the Midwest Region final. Aaron’s last-second bomb wiped out Wisconsin the national semifinal.
No such stakes in the Bahamas, but Harrison showed he hasn’t lost his perimeter game as he hit nine of 20 shots from behind the arc. Aaron was three-of-four from three in the second game with Puerto Rico and three-of-seven from three in the second game with Chalon-Reims.
Harrison ended up scoring 62 points in the six games, for an average of 10.3 per game. He scored 15 points in 22 minutes in the tour’s first game, then 15 points in 24 minutes in the next-to-last game. Overall, he made 11 of 15 free throws (73.3 percent) and turned the ball over just twice in 126 minutes.
To answer NBA doubters about his athleticism, Aaron dropped some pounds over the winter and hit the weight room.
“I tried in the offseason to get stronger and be a better finisher,” Harrison said during the team’s pre-Bahamas practices. “I worked on my body.”
Many of the questions surrounding his game have to do with defense. To that end, Harrison had eight steals in the six games. Six of those steals came in the first three games, before the Cats obviously lost their legs down the stretch.
You could quibble with the fact that Aaron had just one offensive rebound in the Bahamas, but considering John Calipari’s ultra-deep stable of tall guys who can hit the boards, you don’t really need your shooting guard to crash the glass. Instead, if you are Cal, you might want Aaron (and others) to work harder on transition defense. That was a noticeable problem a year ago and stuck out like a sore thumb in the Bahamas.
All in all, it was a pretty decent trip for Aaron, not that he had a lot to prove. There will be plenty of time for that come the season.
Previously: Devin Booker
Related link: Charting UK’s individual stats in Bahamas