Harris has appeared in nine games off the bench and is averaging 14.4 minutes per game.
Dec. 5, 2011
Stanford's impressive 8-1 start can be attributed to a rotation that consistently runs 10-12 players deep, allowing head coach Johnny Dawkins to employ several different combinations and matchups on any given night.
One of those early contributors has been junior guard Gabriel Harris, who has served as a key member of the Cardinal backcourt through the first nine games. A native of Birmingham, Ala., Harris has appeared in nine games off the bench and is averaging 14.4 minutes per game, which is almost double his career playing total entering this year.
Harris is averaging 3.8 points and 1.7 rebounds per game while scoring in double figures twice. Prior to this season, Harris had only reached double figures in scoring once in 43 career contests.
THE STUDENT on...
Choosing his major of psychology?
"Before I chose psychology, I knew my options were open and I could go in many different directions. I've always been intrigued by psychology, and how people interact with each other. I can really take it in any direction I want: business school, med school, law school. I made the decision at the beginning of last year to go into psychology."
What do you enjoy most about the subject?
"I really enjoy sports psychology and did a little more with that during my first summer. A class I really thought was interesting was the Introduction to Learning and Memory (PYSCH 45), which covered the breakdown of the decision-making part of your brain, and how your brain and body interact with each other. I'm looking at sports psychology or maybe even neuropsychology. PYSCH 1 was the introduction of psychology and that provided a good overview. Not to mention, you can definitely read the body language of your opponents a little better on the court."
How do you balance school and basketball?
"Balancing school and basketball can definitely be a challenge. For example, our first two games in the Preseason NIT were back-to-back, on Monday and Tuesday. I had a problem set due on Wednesday afternoon, so I stayed up until 2:30 the night before after our game in order to get the work done. The main thing is just trying to get as far ahead as you possibly can, and be diligent with your spare time. Managing your time, even when you're tired, is really important."
Your 70-foot buzzer-beater against Colorado State was perhaps Stanford's most memorable shot of the year so far. Walk us through it (and check out the priceless reaction from a young fan in the video's final five seconds).
"We were just trying to get the rebound first. They had a second-chance shot, and it was really fortunate that they missed the lay-up. Josh (Owens) knocked it out towards me. When I caught it, I saw the other shot clock and that I had one extra dribble. So I went around their man and I just shot it. I shot it to go in. And it went in. The main part was getting it off, but I definitely shot it to go in. I wasn't just throwing it up there."
Over your first two seasons, you attempted 19 free throws combined. Through nine games this year, you're 17-23 (73.9 percent) from the charity stripe. What's been the difference?
"Just being more physical and aggressive. The last couple years I just shied away from the physicality, but now I'm starting to embrace it. I've been talking with the coaches about where spots are that I can attack. Now that I'm getting those attempts, I feel more comfortable attacking the basket. I've even watched some tape of Jarrett (Mann) over the last two seasons and tried to see spots that worked for him as a slasher. Trying to incorporate that into my game, while keeping an attacking mentality."
A knee injury back in the fall prevented you from going to Spain. What was it like to be away from your teammates during that time?
"I was following the team every day as much as I could. Not being on the trip really hurt. I really wanted to go to Spain. My whole summer was geared to go to Spain, and be at my best while I was in Spain. So the injury at the end of the summer basically ended all my hard work and it really hurt. So I sulked for one day, powered through it and continued to rehab while you guys were gone. I had rehab for six hours a day, including weights. Even though I wanted to work hard, I wanted to work smart. I just wanted to be with my guys- that was the main thing."