Harris gets UM's notice at long last Charleston senior from Va. had eyed Terps, Hoyas

March 15, 1997|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,SUN STAFF

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Did anyone enjoy the College of Charleston's first NCAA tournament victory more than Stacy Harris?

Harris is the least heralded of the four seniors who have taken the 12th-seeded Cougars into the second round of the NCAA Southeast Regional. Today he matches up with Arizona's Michael Dickerson, but besting one of the top players in the Pac-10 wouldn't be any more rewarding than what he experienced in Thursday's 75-66 win over Maryland.

Growing up in Annandale, Va., Harris dreamed of playing for Georgetown or Maryland. He got into the Hoyas' McDonough Arena, but only in the Kenner League. He teamed with some Terps when he did, but Laron Profit and Obinna Ekezie got more notice when they played together on Nike Air in the summer of 1995.

"When I first met Stacy, all he ever talked about was Georgetown and Maryland," said Anthony Johnson, the Cougars' top-drawer guard. "He always thought he could play at that level, but for whatever reason, they didn't recruit him."

Harris finally got Maryland's attention, as he scored a game-high 22 points and held Profit to 1-for-7 shooting in the second half of the Cougars' win.

"He [Profit] was the only guy keeping them in the game in the first half," Harris said. "He came downcourt once and said 'Anything you can do, I can do.' I knew if I stayed on him, at some point he was going to start missing. We've got a good relationship. We're so similar, it's scary."

Johnson, the two guard, was the Player of the Year in the Trans America Athletic Conference, and Thaddeous Delaney, "The Shaq of the TAAC," was also a first-team all-star. Rodney Conner, the other forward, was a second-teamer, but Harris got no all-star mention, all the more reason he's coming up bigger than 6 feet 4.

The tendinitis in Harris' left knee flared on a second-half dunk, and he might not be 100 percent for today's game against fourth-seeded Arizona.

The winner moves on to the Sweet 16 in Birmingham, against either No. 1 Kansas or eighth-seeded Purdue, who open today's (2: 25 p.m.) doubleheader at The Pyramid.

Pub Date: 3/15/97

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