March 18, 2014

Beyond the Court: Alex Harris Energizes Titans

Beyond the Court: Alex Harris Energizes Titans  
Student Writer: Kyle Nault 

In his opening press conference, first-year Cal State Fullerton men's basketball head coach Dedrique Taylor said that he had a vision for Titan basketball involving the three E's: Energy, Effort, and Execution.
 

Throughout this season, Taylor believes that no one has encompassed this philosophy more than redshirt junior guard Alex Harris.

 

"Alex in particular has a great deal of energy, and he plays the game with nothing but the highest energy on both ends of the floor," Taylor said. "He's scoring a lot, but just as much, he's guarding the other team's best player."

 

Harris, a transfer student from Northeastern, finished the season as the second leading scorer on the team averaging 15.6 points per game on just under 40 percent shooting, and he is also praised by his coach for his excellent defensive skills.

 

"We were very fortunate to inherit Alex along with the other returners," Taylor said. "I think he embodies everything that we want to be. He's aggressive, he's physical, and he plays the game with a great deal of intensity."

 

Harris' basketball journey has taken several different turns and avenues on the road to the Titan Gym.

 

Growing up in Richmond, Calif., a nearby suburb of Oakland, Harris started his early career at El Cerrito High School.

 

"My freshman year of high school, I was very short," Harris said. "We had a game, and then I was called up to the varsity team, and I scored 12 points. From then on, I had a feeling that I could actually play at the collegiate level."

 

Harris honed his focus on basketball as he helped his El Cerrito team win an Alameda Contra-Costa League Championship during his junior season and led the league in scoring as a senior.

 

After his time at El Cerrito High School, Harris attended Bridgton Academy in Maine, an all-boys preparatory school for a brief time before receiving a scholarship to Northeastern University in Boston.

 

Harris left Northeastern after one season pointing to the cold weather and style of  play as his primary reason to bring his talents to Cal State Fullerton, which recruited him previously.

 

After sitting out one year to serve a redshirt season, Harris has been a cornerstone in the Titan lineup since the beginning of the 2012-13 season. He was one of five players to appear in all 32 games last year, and he started 23 consecutive games coming into this year.

 

The combo guard has improved across the board statistically, averaging an additional 5.0 points per game during the 2013-14 campaign.

 

"I want to be a better leader, do what I can, and help my teammates in any kind of way offensively and defensively," Harris said. "I want to be able to lead by example."