Monday, February 21, 2011

Poor shooting percentage reflects how Harrow has to adjust

Ryan Harrow signed with N.C. State at a wild ceremony at a sports bar near campus that was attended by more than a hundred cheering Wolfpack fans. The kid with the squeaky voice and flashy moves was one of the most anticipated Pack recruits of Sidney Lowe’s tenure.

So far, the road from good to great has been a tough one for Harrow. He was brilliant at slashing to the basket in high school, but has found that more difficult at the collegiate level. Harrow is shooting just 39 percent from the field for the season, and a dismal 21.7 percent from three-point range.

Harrow is now the starting point guard for State after Lowe clung to Javier Gonzalez the first part of the season. He has improved, and rapidly, but there’s little question that the jump to ACC competition has been challenging.

“I see him growing,” Lowe said Monday. “He’s better at learning how to run the team, get guys shots. He’s been accustomed to coming down and taking shots any time when he was in high school. Now he realizes he’s got teammates who are capable of helping him.

“That’s an adjustment for him.”

Defense has been another adjustment, but that’s to be expected. Harrow has a slight build and many freshmen struggle with the physical nature of college basketball. If you’ve ever sat anywhere near the court at an ACC game, you quickly realize how rough and rugged play can be.

Harrow got many of his high school points thanks to his quickness and ability to get the basket faster than anyone. That’s harder now. Even if he can beat his man off the dribble, there’s always a 6-foot-10 shot-blocker waiting in the lane in the ACC.

“It’s a tough adjustment. Guys are bigger,” Lowe said. “He could get to the basket on anyone in high school. Now the guys here are just bigger.”

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