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DeShawn Harris-Smith

Paul VI (VA)

Team Takeover (Nike EYBL)

Class

2023

Height

6'5"

Weight

~210 lbs

Position

W

Strong Hand

Left

Level

High-Major

May 2022

Statistical Sample for the 2021-22 Season (17 Games)

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In Case You Missed It: be sure to check out the Twitter evaluation on Harris-Smith from the 2020-21 season here.

 
Physical/Athleticism
  • Possesses a mature strength that he utilizes in various ways on both ends of the court. This strength is one of the primary drivers of his game.

  • Plays a high-motor, physical, and rugged style of play

  • Has some bully in him

  • The opposite of finesse, although he is capable of a little of that, too

  • Likes to play with his body, seeking out contact

  • Tough as nails

  • Strong endurance – played heavy, up-tempo, high-intensity minutes against top-notch competition

  • One-legged leaper

  • Rangy length

  • Effective first step

  • Good body control and hand-eye coordination

  • Quickly advancing deceleration that brakes momentum-driven speed with the ball

  • Fluid hips that turn and open up well on the defensive end

  • Terrific timing

  • Excellent agility

 
Offensive Qualities
  • A model of consistency. You know what you’re going to get, and he gives it night in and night out. Wholly dependable against a daunting national schedule.

  • A Swiss army knife who contributes to winning in a multitude of ways

  • A supreme slasher who relentlessly imposes his will on the defense with his aggressive attack on the painted area. Places tremendous pressure on half-court and transition defenses. With much more than just brute strength, his attack is cerebral and calculated. He’s always looking for the weakness in the defense; always looking for a driving lane to attack with purpose. Inflicts the majority of his scoring damage via points in the paint.

  • Makes skilled use of his body to clear space, create separation, and initiate contact to draw the foul

  • Utilizes his right shoulder, but can be susceptible to player control fouls, as a result. Improved footwork and increased patience has helped to mitigate this risk. That footwork comes in the form of decelerated steps, euro steps, and pivot work around the basket.

  • Free throw rate of 49.8% over the 17 games charted

  • Ability to get to the line is driven by his patience, headiness, strength, and feel

  • Not only does he draw legitimate contact, but he is learning how to sell the call, too

  • Excels when he gets downhill going left

  • Regardless of the situation or the method of the point of attack, his approach is left-hand dominant

    • Will improve by developing an attack going right, which is scary when you consider his current productivity

    • Showed a high success rate when he chose to go right in any capacity. You will see examples of this sprinkled throughout the rest of this evaluation.

    • Can also find room for improvement by developing more counters to go along with his spin move that he uses against the overplay

  • Has a knack of successfully getting where he wants to go, even when the defender(s) knows where he’s headed

  • Has grown in patience and feel off the bounce

  • Slashing activity showcases his distribution skills and is not just limited to scoring, which you will also see throughout the rest of the evaluation

  • Slashing attack will originate off the dribble from the perimeter on the catch or as the initiator

  • Prefers to keep it simple and go north-south

  • Likes to slice across the lane from right-to-left

  • Improved dribble moves in self-creation situations

    • Likes to use the left-to-right cross that eventually leads to a spin back left

  • Will also use the left-to-right cross by itself

  • Also owns a nice right-to-left crossover

  • Utilizes tough spin moves in either direction

  • Can be very persistent off the bounce and will often replace himself with the dribble to reset and attack

  • Limited wiggle, but is growing in the use of misdirection movements

  • Utilizes an effective first step to go left. Once he gets even a half step, he’s typically able to maintain his advantage by using his body.

    • Can continue to improve by adding to his jab-step series and utilizing that first step going right, too

  • Efficient operator out of the post

  • A bully on the block

    • Possesses the ability to successfully post bigger opponents

    • Can muscle his way to buckets and foul shots

  • Crafty and skilled

    • Does a great job of keeping that pivot foot nailed to the floor

    • Understands how to gain ground, remain in control, and capture the advantageous position

  • Exhibits excellent patience

    • Utilizes subtle movements and short pump fakes, which can lead to a successful up-and-under conversion

    • Not afraid to put it on the floor several times to get the position he wants

    • Will drive from the perimeter and then turn the drive into a post-up opportunity, choosing to play at his own pace and move into a mode that gives him the greatest advantage. A lot of times, it’s simply about getting the right position.

  • Predictably turns left on the majority of post possessions but, similar to his ability off the bounce, he still shows remarkable success. He just has a way of getting what he wants.

    • Fully capable of turning right and, when he does, he is just as successful. It’s a matter of mixing it in consistently and appropriately.

  • Handles double teams with good judgment

  • Quickly recognizes and moves to take advantage of mismatches

  • Slashing attack extends well into transition/semi-transition play

    • Dangerous threat to rebound and push on his own to take advantage of scrambling, unsettled defenses as a playmaker for others or as a scorer. He will push it right down the back of the defense.

  • Accustomed to playing up-tempo, so he is looking to push the pace

  • Skillfully utilizes footwork to navigate traffic

  • Has a tendency to force the issue in an effort to put pressure on the defense

    • Learning to adjust his pace with the ball when recognizing there is no opportunity

  • Notes on distribution in transition/semi-transition can be found below

  • Outstanding finisher in the open court, whether he is the ball handler or filling the lane

  • More on finishing

    • Terrific finisher through contact, traffic, and rim protection in general. Attacks!

      • Loves to initiate the contact. Will take it right to the body of the defender when necessary.

      • Uses his body well to shield the ball, as well as position himself to absorb the contact, hang, and still get up a quality attempt

  • Also owns the strength to power through the heavy contact

  • Maintains focus on the goal and displays a nice touch off the board

  • Possesses good feel for the defense around the basket, and navigates through traffic according to that feel, both on the ground and in mid-air

  • Finishes above the rim and has no problem coming for heads

  • Has developed a semi-scoop shot around the rim that allows him to go under and around the right arm of the contesting defender, who is always taught to go straight up. It has proven to be a very practical shot.

  • Good off hand finisher when he uses it. Can finish with it through contact or by adjusting in mid-air to avoid the block.

  • Plays an impactful floor game. Affects the game with or without the ball.

    • Excellent offensive rebounder

      • Fights for position, but also focuses on the flight of the ball in the air to help dictate his judgment of where the ball is coming off the rim

      • Follows the play ‘til completion

  • Known to outwork his opponents, exhibiting his high-motor playing style by following up his own attempts multiple times. His effort is tremendous.

  • Consistently runs the floor

  • Seriously progressing playmaker who consistently creates opportunities for his teammates

    • Distributes from the various points of attack discussed above

    • Creates advantages for his team as an initiator or via his threat to drive off the catch on the wings

    • Collapses the defense and opens passing lanes

    • Possesses the vision and passing skills to locate and deliver the pass

    • See more in the “Passing” section below

  • Looks to make the right play; a team player

  • Growing pick-and-roll ball handler who prefers to operate going right-to-left

    • Playmaking extends to his reads coming off the ball screen, where he can find the roller, hit the popper, drive and kick to the opposite wing/corner shooters, take advantage of a big switching out, or turn the corner to score the ball himself. Here's a quick example:

  • A steadily improving perimeter shooter overall who prefers to take quality attempts from outside (see more in the “Shooting” section below)

  • Very encouraging scoring efficiency. Averaged just under 18 points per game on 12.4 attempts at 58.7% true shooting over the 17 games charted.

Shooting
 
  • Again, steadily progressing overall as a perimeter shooter. He has smoothed out his mechanics and increased his confidence. He appears much more comfortable/confident shooting it in comparison to the previous season.

    • Growing in consistency as a standstill catch and shooter, which is when he is able to prep best for the shot

  • Still working towards consistency shooting off the bounce

    • Shows the ability to shoot the pull-up 3 out of rhythm dribbles and laterally-based dribble moves, displaying flashes of what can be in the future

  • Projections for the future are hopeful, evidenced by the increased fluidity and perceived comfort level in his jump shot. Development into a shooter that can keep defenses honest enough to prevent them from sagging on-ball is more than reasonable. The degree of advancement through his senior season will be much more indicative of his shooting ability and overall role at the college level.

  • Shot just under 70% from the foul line on more than 6 attempts per game

    • Shot a higher percentage during crunch time throughout the year, either sealing games or putting his team in front multiple times

  • See the “Offensive Qualities” section above for info on finishing

  • Shot selection

    • The vast majority of his points come from inside the paint and foul line

    • Rarely settles for the outside jumper. Looks for the best available shot.

  • Unwillingness to settle can sometimes translate into forced shots to the rim, but is also a main reason he shot 52.7% from the field and had a true shooting percentage of 58.7 over the 17 games charted

  • Seldom shoots from mid-range

  • Mechanics/form

    • Preps well and powers upwards using his legs

    • Excellent verticality – body is straight up-and-down

    • Goes up and comes down in the same spot

    • Elbow is slightly above a 90-degree angle

    • Good wrist elasticity that leads to a consistent snap of the wrist on the release

    • Release comes from around the top of his forehead, slightly to the left

    • Roughly 1.5 motions, but can venture towards 2 motions, at times

Passing
 
  • There is perhaps no other area of his game that portrays his growth more than passing. He consistently showed the ability to read the floor, locate the open man, and deliver the pass accurately.

  • A willing passer who has expanded his vision, consistently seeing and delivering to the opposite side of the court

  • Sees the floor from his post positions on the blocks and in the paint, as well as when he is wheeling in either direction

  • Also sees the floor in transition as the ball handler, dishing off the live dribble as he pushes the pace

    • Accurate passer off the live dribble

  • Understands how to draw the defense with the dribble drive and find perimeter shooters or finishers on the blocks

    • Does so as an initiator off the bounce, penetrating off of ball reversals, attacking in transition/semi-transition, and out of the post

  • Advances the ball with the pass and finds running teammates with a nice lead bounce pass

  • Progressing in his willingness to become a passer off the jump stop, but is also a capable jump passer

  • Puts good zip on the ball but knows when to take some off the pass when more touch is required

  • See the “Offensive Qualities” section above for more on his playmaking qualities

 
Dribbling
  • Demonstrates an effective, functional handle in various situations

  • Displays solid ball control

  • Left-hand dominant

  • Picked up great experience as an offensive initiator throughout the season and occasionally assumed overall primary ball handler responsibilities. Looked much more comfortable and confident handling it throughout the course of the season.

    • Went through stretches of games where his handle was sure and sharp

    • Was trustworthy bringing it up against man pressure

    • Successful off the dribble from the point of attack in the half court

      • Dribble moves are increasing in efficacy

        • Will improve by adding in more deception and misdirection

  • Protects the ball with his body and off arm

    • Uses both shoulders as tools to create space while serving as barriers between the defender and the ball

  • Has an adequate change of direction dribble but can stand to tighten it up, as he has a small tendency to leave the ball unprotected on the switch of hands

  • Strong with the ball – capable of accepting contact without disrupting his control of the dribble or interrupting his momentum

  • Initiates/absorbs a lot of contact off the bounce to help accumulate team fouls toward the bonus

  • Replaces himself well with the dribble to aid in his persistence off the bounce

  • Has a small tendency to overdribble into traffic and get himself into trouble

  • Good speed dribble, most especially with the left

 
Defense
  • Valuable, often tenacious defender who takes pride in his ability to defend

  • Plays with energy and activity

    • Makes things happen

  • Capable of guarding each perimeter position

    • Able to guard bigger players, especially on the perimeter, but also in the post, depending on size

    • Capable of working through screens or switching. Should be able to defend in virtually any defensive schema, within any concept at the next level (reasonably speaking).

  • Similar to how he imposes his will on offense, he can also do the same defensively with his intensity, desire, and willingness to give up his body to make a play

    • Maintains the same level of intensity and willingness to defend from game-to-game

  • Dogged on-ball defender who doesn’t quit on the play

  • Plays terrific position defense within team concepts and coverages

    • Often seems to be in the right position for the rebound, loose ball, steal, deflection, or any other opportunity

      • Maintains good attentiveness between ball and man

    • Excellent on the help side

  • Makes timely rotations and steps in to take the charge without a second thought

    • Steps in to take the charge with regularity

      • Took 3 charges in a close win against the Blue Ridge School

  • Although he tends to stand up off the ball, he stays engaged and ready to move with urgency

  • A strong, productive defensive rebounder

    • Often finds himself in good rebounding position

    • Displays an innate feel for where the ball is coming off the rim

    • Comes away with contested rebounds

  • Excellent overall defensive awareness

 
Basketball IQ
  • Very high IQ player who sees the game through the lens of a point guard

  • Understands personnel on the court and how to take advantage of mismatches. For example, in the clip below, he gets theh big to switch on the ball screen and then attacks off the dribble.

  • Consistently showed the ability to orchestrate the offense as a primary ball handler and offensive initiator

  • Ever-improving decision maker

  • Plays terrific position basketball

    • Comprehends space and time, and its importance when applied to both ends of the floor

  • Increased patience in multiple areas of the game (see sections above for details)

    • Beginning to move at his own pace with the purpose of creating advantages for his team, both as a scorer and a distributor

  • Has a knack for making winning plays on both ends

  • Improving court awareness and a heightening feel for the defense

    • This is none the more evident than in his ability to get to the line, but is also visible in his growth as a passer and decision maker

  • Aware of time and score

  • Progressing headiness in difficult situations that leads him to success

 
Disposition/Presence
  • A true dog – please don’t associate this with the cliché usage of the term

    • Has a seemingly undying motor

    • Plays with great intensity

    • Tenacious and aggressive

    • Internally driven

    • In the mix at every opportunity

    • A borderline agitator – he doesn’t care who you are

  • Wears his heart on his sleeve

  • Ultra-competitive

  • Imposes his will on opponents through his play on both ends of the court

  • A winner; plays to win

  • No hesitation to give up his body or dive on the floor

  • Has played in dozens of big games over the last couple of years alone, and it has paid dividends in the form of increased composure and poise

 
Coachability
  • A willing learner who wants to be great

  • Capable of digesting different teaching styles

  • A leader who takes ownership and accountability for his development, play, and effort

    • Does so for his teammates, as well

  • A “throwback” who loves to work and has a desire to grow his knowledge of the game

    • A student of the game who, like those before him, has benefitted from the tutelage of a terrific coaching staff at Paul VI

  • Loves the game