The Arkansas basketball program has sometimes struggled to find a real distributor at point guard in recent years, but the Razorbacks found a new one with the commitment of Jalen Harris, who announced he was transferring from New Mexico to Arkansas after playing his freshman season in Albuquerque.
Blessed to announce that I have committed to the University of Arkansas— Jalen Harris (@_jay5harris) April 29, 2017
Harris is originally from Raleigh, North Carolina, but played in all 31 games for the Lobos as a freshman, including starting in 18 straight games from late December through mid-February.
In about 20 minutes per game, he averaged 4.5 points, 2.3 assists, and 1.8 rebounds while only committing 1.3 turnovers for a New Mexico team that went 17-14. According to KenPom, he had an excellent assist rate of 20.4%. He was not a great three-point shooter, knocking down only 25.9% of his longballs. However, he did convert 50% of his shots inside the arc and was a 74.5% free throw shooter.
From the video available of him, he seems to be a good athlete. Quick with good handles, and can make some pretty nifty passes at times. Hopefully he’ll continue to develop during his redshirt year and be ready to be a significant contributor in the 2018-19 season (he’ll have to sit out the upcoming season due to transfer rules).
If Jaylen Barford and Daryl Macon come back for their senior seasons, the Hogs will have to deal with significant turnover in the backcourt next season as those two would graduate along with Anton Beard. Harris would likely compete for a starting spot after they leave. Also, if Barford and Macon return and nobody else transfers, all of Arkansas’ basketball scholarships are officially taken for next season.