AUBURN, Ala.,— Coming into the season, few expected much out of freshman guard Jordan Harris.
Harris was a 4-star guard but he was a lower-rated recruit compared to Tyree Crump. And given Mark Fox’s past with freshman guards, J.J. Frazier barely played his freshman season as was the case for Turtle Jackson last season, few paid much attention to Harris.
But one game into Georgia’s SEC slate, Harris is already beginning to become a known name. Auburn will certainly remember Harris’ performance, as he needed just four shots to get a career-high 12 points in Georgia’s 96-84 win over Auburn.
The 12 points came via two 3-pointers, a lay-up and four free throws. And more impressively, the effort came in his first SEC road game.
“I’m a scorer and I can do it at any level,” Harris said. “At the rim, mid-range, 3-pointer range. I just let the game come to me and have fun with it.”
The freshman guard has managed to break into the starting rotation, as he’s started the last five games for Georgia. In addition to his scoring ability, he added three assists, two rebound and solid defense in the win.
And most of that came in front of a fairly loud Auburn crowd. But Harris never seemed overwhelmed by 9,000-plus Auburn fans.
“I wish something could rattle Jordan. He’s very composed, very laid back kid and he made some huge plays for us tonight,” Fox said.
According to Frazier, a performance like this seemed to be coming. Harris didn’t play like a freshman on a night where Georgia turned a double-digit second half deficit into a double-digit win.
His performance was big in the first half, as Maten battled foul trouble and Frazier was easing his way into the offense. Harris’ two early 3-pointers kept Georgia from falling behind even further. And his second half and-1 lay-up helped Georgia tie the game 70.
— Georgia Basketball (@UGABasketball) December 30, 2016
Shortly afterwards, Fraier and Maten keyed a 12-0 run that put away the game for good.
“Jordan’s willingness to listen and pay attention to detail is incredible,” Frazier said. “He’s playing defense and hitting big shots. He’s really come along way.”
Frazier and Maten still carried Georgia on the night, as Frazier had 27 points, 5 assists and 5 steals, while Maten added a season-high 31.
Georgia doesn’t need Harris to carry the load like Malik Monk of Kentucky. If the Bainbridge freshman can stuff the stat sheet and make timely plays like he did against Auburn, Georgia can rack up a few more SEC wins like it did tonight.
The 12 points weren’t an eye-popping total, but it’s a solid start to SEC play for a player who was an unknown commodity coming into the season.
“It was big. He’s becoming more reliable throughout the season,” Maten said. “He’s starting to understand his role and thus play better in practice and games. Jordan’s an all-around good kid and a good player.”