Nevada Wolf Pack alum Jalen Harris was selected No. 59 overall by the Toronto Raptors in the 2020 NBA Draft.
Sources: Toronto is selecting Jalen Harris at No. 59 in NBA Draft— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 19, 2020
In his only season with the Pack, Harris led the Mountain West Conference in scoring at 21.7 points per game, also totaling 6.5 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game with shooting 44.6 percent from the floor and 36.2 percent from 3-point range.
In his last 27 games, he totaled double-digit points. He led the Pack in scoring in 21 games and had game-highs in points 15 times. He had 15 20-point games and six 30-point games — including becoming the first Nevada player in the Division-I era (since 1969) to tally four straight 30-point performances.
Harris was dominant in conference play. In 18 conference games, he averaged a conference-best 25.3 points per game with 5.9 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.3 steals with a 1.39 assist-to-turnover ratio — all ranking within the Top-15 in the Mountain West.
He was also seventh in 3-pointers made per game (2.9) and in total 3-pointers made (67). He was fourth in the conference in field goal percentage (.492) and third in 3-point percentage (.414).
The 6-foot-5 guard was named to the All-Mountain West first team by the coaches and media. The coaches also selected him as the Mountain West Newcomer of the Year.
Prior to his stint with the Wolf Pack, Harris played two seasons at Louisiana Tech (2016-18). He averaged 12.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists with the Bulldogs in 38 career games (13 starts).
Harris, 22, is the second Pack player in as many seasons to get drafted, with Cody Martin getting selected No. 36 last year to the Charlotte Hornets. He is the 16th player to get drafted in school history, the 8th since 2000. Harris joins JaVale McGee, Cody and Caleb Martin as current Wolf Pack alums in the NBA.
He will be teaming up with San Diego State’s Malachi Flynn, who was selected No. 29 overall by Toronto. Flynn and Harris were the two frontrunners for the Mountain West Player of the Year, with Flynn earning the award.
Here is what CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish and Kyle Boone commented about the selection:
“The Raptors got one of the most productive scorers — averaging 21.7 points per game — in college basketball with the penultimate pick of the 2020 NBA Draft. Not a bad get. His size and scoring ability from all three levels stood out in college, and he could give Toronto yet another potential bench weapon. Grade: B+”
Here is what Sports Illustrated’s Jeremy Woo said about Harris, who was ranked No. 60 on his big board.
“An appealing athlete with some juice off the dribble, Harris had a big first year at Nevada after transferring from Louisiana Tech and sitting out a season. While his game is ball-dominant and occasionally a bit wild, Harris’s athleticism and scoring instincts are impressive. He takes and makes a lot of tough shots, but will have to pick his spots better to succeed in the pros. As far as scoring is concerned, he’s a viable second-round option. But Harris will have to figure out what else he can bring to the table as a role player.”
Here is what Bleacher Report’s Paul Kasabian said about Harris, who he compared to Alonzo Trier.
“Jalen Harris broke out last year to become one of the nation’s and draft’s top shot-creators and scorers. He’s the type of player you can feed the ball to and ask to generate offense out of nothing. He will have a chance to carve out a career through his ability to get his own shot from all over the floor off ball screens and isolation.”