It's college basketball preview time again and Rob Dauster of Ballin' is a Habit checks in with a key question for the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the 2011-12 season: "Which Elias Harris are we going to get this year?"
...as a sophomore, Harris's number dipped across the board. For my money, there were three reasons for that: A) Robert Sacre's continued development; B) the lack of a pure point guard and a natural playmaker with Matt Bouldin graduating; and C) an off-season shoulder injury and an early-season achilles injury that limited his explosiveness and left him out of shape.
Point guard play is probably the most obvious culprit of the factors that Dauster listed above, but it's also worth noting that a sign of encouragement from last season was that Harris got to the free throw line more often, which would at least suggest that he got more aggressive at getting to the rim as the season progressed.
With point "C" unlikely to be a continuing issue this year and point "B" hopefully improving, this could be yet another strong year for Harris. And ultimately, Dauster selected Harris as his West Coast Conference Player of the Year in his detailed analysis of the conference.
Yet hopefully instead of the NBA Draft talk starting up again, Harris will stick around to continue his development in his senior year.