From now until the WNBA draft on April 11, 2011, Swish Appeal will be providing you with information, quotes and audio clips on some of the top prospects. We hope you enjoy them, and they help you prepare for the new crop of WNBA players entering the league this summer!
After putting up 28 points and 18 rebounds vs. his Louisville Cardinals, coach Jeff Walz declared the above statement about Xavier's Amber Harris. At 6'5, with the skills to play any front court position, Walz may be right. A two time AP All-American (3rd team last year, 1st team this year), Harris is bound to be one of the most sought after prizes in the 2011 WNBA draft.
Consistency, consistency, consistency. That's what you get with Amber Harris. At 6'5, Harris is not just a back to the basket post player. She is a face up forward, adept with the ball in her hands anywhere on the court. There isn't much that Amber can't do, and he she has shown the dedication and work ethic to continue to put in the time working on the skills that need it. Harris has become a capable ball handler and distributor as well as a dynamic scorer and solid rebounder. A 5th year senior, Harris had come back to Xavier for one final try to make it to the Final Four in her state of Indiana, a quest that unfortunately for Xaver ended early. A look at her statistical strengths though, shows that consistency we saw all season.
STATISTICAL STRENGTHS & WEAKNESSES
- Averaged 18.2 points per game (27th in the country)
- Averaged 10. 2 rebounds per game (28th in the country)
- Averaged 2.5 blocks per game (28th in the country)
- Shot 52.5% from the field (35th in the country)
- Named a finalist along with Maya Moore, Brittney Griner & Nneka Ogwumike for the prestigious Honda Sports Award, recognizing the top collegiate female athlete in her sport
- Only shoots 62% from the foul line, important because she went to the line over 5 times per game
- Committed almost 3 turnovers per game, something she will need to improve upon in the WNBA
STRAIGHT FROM THE PLAYER'S MOUTH
In the 2009-10 season, Xavier had a magical tournament run, that ended with Jeanette Pohlen's 4.4 second length of the court dash in the Elite Eight. Immediately after that great run, where Harris flourished and really showcased her skills, the questions began whether she would return for a 5th year at Xavier, or move on to the pros. She made the decision to stay at Xavier and had a phenomenal senior year.
As I mentioned above, Amber has already built a reputation based on her multitude of skills; whether it be her shooting, rebounding, shot blocking, ball handling, or defensive prowess. I asked her which part of her game she enjoyed the most.
It's almost impossible to separate Amber Harris and Ta'Shia Phillips when you talk about their college careers. Two Indiana products that played with or against each other for years, I interviewed them together for Dishin & Swishin. I asked them both about wanting to play in the WNBA.
WHAT THE COACHES SAY
One of the up and coming coaches out there, Xavier assistant Mike Neighbors has been there for Amber Harris' development and growth both on and off the court at Xavier. I talked to Coach Neighbors about his All-American standout forward.
FROM ELSEWHERE ON THE 'NET
The now famous two-handed alley oop dunk from "Muskateer Madness"