According to Jeff Goodman, Manny Harris and Cal’s Patrick Christopher were the class of the Paul Pierce Skills Academy. The field included E’Twaun Moore, Manny Harris, Greivis Vasquez, Patrick Christopher, Demetri McCamey, Ryan Thompson, Edwin Ubiles, Ricky Harris, Cory Higgins and Marshan Brooks which is not bad company. Manny told Goodman that he listened to those people around him who told him “to be patient” in regards to the NBA draft.
Here’s what Pierce had to say on Manny:
“He’s got a pretty good mid-range game,” Pierce said of Harris. “I like the way he comes off screens. He has tremendous upside and has a good basketball IQ. He’s also one of the guys that picked things up right away.”
It’s interesting to hear someone praise Manny’s midrange game, this is something that most would consider one of the weaknesses of Manny’s game. If he were to master the pull up jumper or some sort of floater he would be almost impossible to guard.
Goodman also mentions that Harris says that he plans to be more of a vocal leader rather than leading by example. Leadership is still my biggest question regarding next year and it would be great to see Manny take that next step.
Eight of the first nine picks in the NBA draft were alumni of one of the Nike Academies and it’s great that two current players (Sims and Harris) and one future player (Smotrycz) got the chance to particpate.