After seemingly every home game last season you could count on pictures emerging on social media of Dominick Harris getting in an extra workout. Whether it was working on his jump shot or footwork, the California native consistently demonstrated an undeniable desire to get better.
Dominick Harris is right back out on the court. Martynas Arlauskas about to join him. pic.twitter.com/nVvGRv36Jx— Brenna Greene (@BrennaGreene_) December 23, 2020
Dominick Harris putting in work, getting up some free throws after today’s game against Northern Arizona. pic.twitter.com/5T9HRRV7jv— Karthik Venkataraman (@KarthikV_) December 29, 2020
Harris has a tantalizing array of tools in his skillset. He reads the pick and roll well, can toggle through the gears when attacking downhill to put a lot of stress on the defense, is comfortable both playing off the ball or running the offense, and has the strength and aggressiveness to finish through traffic. On the defensive end, he has the physical ability and aggressiveness to be a menace. In fact, Brian Michaelson identified Harris as capable of being Gonzaga’s best on-ball defender in the season ahead if he just commits to it. Embracing that challenge is the best and most direct route available for Harris to significantly increase his minutes as a sophomore while filling a major need for the Zags.
In his limited time last season (7.2 mpg in 25 appearances) Harris tended to be feast or famine with his jump shot, though that was due to a dearth of opportunities and limited time to establish his rhythm on the floor rather than any flaw in his mechanics or a gunner’s conscience to shooting (though he still finished the year shooting a solid 39.1% from the three-point line and 41.8% from the field) . With a larger role in the rotation, it’s easy to envision him taking a step forward and finding greater consistency in that regard.
Of course, nothing is given at Gonzaga, especially with the wealth of talent that Mark Few is able to wield in the backcourt these days. Despite the losses of Joel Ayayi, Jalen Suggs, and Aaron Cook from last season’s squad, there is no shortage of options in the backcourt this season. Seniors Andrew Nembhard and Rasir Bolton, along with incoming freshmen Hunter Sallis and Nolan Hickman present serious competition for minutes.
But as one of only two incumbents, along with Nembhard, Harris has the advantage of having an extra year of experience over the newcomers of working with this coaching staff and his teammates and should have a better understanding of the system and the standard of what is required. If Harris can combine that experience, along with the work ethic he displayed despite the minor role he was given last year, it’s reasonable to expect Harris to play a much more significant part in Gonzaga’s quest to win a first national championship.
There are zero doubts about Harris’ work ethic or his desire to be great. If he’s ready to fulfill his immense potential and seize a place in Mark Few’s rotation, there will be a lot of exciting moments ahead for Harris and the Zags.