Ron Harper Jr. Has Shot The Lights Out
The team may not be ranked in the Top 25, but the Rutgers Scarlet Knights have gotten off to a tremendous start of the new season. Coach Pikiell continues to improve this team year by year, and this year shows to be much better than the last. Looking into this team, the roster understands their role for the team. The goal is to come in and do a job correctly every night. With that being said, there’s the momentum that has shifted their way going forward into the year.
Ron Harper Jr.’s Play
Ron Harper Jr. Thus Far
One of the biggest stories for the team has been Ron Harper Jr. This is a guy who seems to can’t miss over the past few games. The three-point line has been Harper’s best friend as he continues to torch opponents from that area of the floor. For a guy who has been rather inconsistent from range, Harper has really found a way to improve in that area. The challenge now is will he be able to keep up his shooting through the rest of this season?
Harper is certainly playing with a chip on his shoulder this season. He understands that his value needs to increase through his college career and he is showing that so far. Like many players, Harper has seemed to use the pandemic as an opportunity to develop on the offensive end. Through this season, many can tell that his mechanics look better and the release of his shot is sharper than it was in the past.
His Play As of Late
Through six games, Harper is averaging 24.0 points per game on 60.0 percent from the field. The most important stat in his numbers has to be his 52.5 percent shooting from behind the arc. It’s one thing to make an improvement, but nobody expected a leap like this one. Through his first two seasons, Harper shot 31.0 percent from the three-point line and seemed to never be a factor from that area. Besides his three-point shooting, Harper has also continued to use his size to attack the basket and dominate the paint area. With his tenacity on the floor this season, he’s put his team on his back and allowed the game to flow freely.
The one game that stands out the most this season is his matchup with Ayo Dosunmu and Illinois. The Fighting Illini started the season on a spark just like Rutgers has. This was a test for Harper and his team to play a ranked team and show their heart and tenacity. In that case, Harper was once again spectacular at shooting the basketball. He found himself able to set good ball screens to free him up from behind the arc. Harper would finish the game with 28 points as he once again shot the ball exceptionally well.
As the season progresses, Rutgers is going to continue to need the production that Harper has been giving. Now, I must say it is impossible to shoot 60.0 percent through the rest of the season. But, the high level of basketball that he shows really navigates his team to the best position. Harper is showing people that he is a star and deserves respect for the way that he’s been playing. It makes many of us excited to see what he has to offer through the rest of the season.
Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images