WVU's Harris on Kansas: "We Can Win This Game" - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

WVU's Harris on Kansas: "We Can Win This Game"

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MORGANTOWN -

Eron Harris found himself in a familiar place during the first half of West Virginia's victory over Oklahoma this week: the team bench.

A recent habit of first half foul trouble limited the sophomore guard to just two points in eight minutes of action as he picked up his second personal in the early stages of the game. Just as he said after a loss to Oklahoma State and a win over Baylor in which he dealt with foul trouble, Harris says he maintained confidence in his teammates that they would pick up the slack in his absence.

"My mentality the whole first half was just to cheer my teammates on and I knew whether I was playing or not, we were going to get the win," Harris said on this week's episode of The Bob Huggins Show. "I just knew that I was going to get another opportunity to play in the second half and when I get out there, I'm going to make the best of it, try not to foul so that I can stay in there and contribute."

Contribute is a severe understatement. Harris played out of his mind in knocking down six 3-pointers on his way to pushing WVU into overtime and ultimately to the upset victory. His 28 points led all scorers.

In truth, Harris' performance was like the third act of the game. Terry Henderson was the warm-up routine, tallying 13 of his 17 points in the first half, before Juwan Staten took the stage for his 20 points and 10 rebounds and then Harris played the role of the headliner.

When the three-guard attack is clicking on all cylinders, these Mountaineers can be a handful for any defense they go up against.

"I don't know how hard we are to guard because I'm not everybody else, but I feel like the way we've been playing lately, we're one of the hardest teams to guard not only in the Big 12, but in the country, too," said Harris.

Don't think for a second that Harris doesn't mean that, either. In his second year with West Virginia, he has shown no signs of self doubt or of doubt in the rest of his team.

Harris said after wins over both Baylor and Kansas State that he feels as though he and his teammates can walk around with their chests out and their heads held high. Just showing up to class on WVU's campus would be a different experience because of the result on those days.

When it seemed as though he would hit any shot he took on Wednesday, Harris flashed his smile and trotted down the court with a swagger about him, giving any alumni at the Coliseum an idea of what a chest out, head up Harris would look like to his classmates the following morning.

"The reason we play the game is because it's fun in the first place," said Harris. "Everything that I'm doing right now is a dream come true and it's something that I never thought that I would be able to have the opportunity to do. Sometimes I don't even know how to react. It's just so fun."

The fun Harris is having has contributed to him ranking as the Big 12's No. 3 scorer (17.5 points per game) behind Iowa State's Melvin Ejim (18.3) and Harris' own point guard, Juwan Staten (18.1).

On Saturday, he gets a chance to put his game up against the top team in the league, No. 8 Kansas.

Harris was about as dejected as he has been since joining the Mountaineers when his squad dropped a 91-65 decision at Allen Fieldhouse last season and his belief is that a vastly improved bunch is heading into Lawrence with a far more positive result on the horizon.

"We're going to go into this game like we are a top 10 team in the country and go in here with confidence that we can win this game," said Harris. "It's a battle. Everything else that happened in the past is the past, so we're not going to worry about that, we're going to worry about what we can do now and we're a different team from last year, so we have a chance."

Growing up in Indianapolis, Harris watched the environment at "The Phog" and knew it was a dream to one day play within its walls. Last year's game was more of the nightmare variety, but he's young and he gets another crack at it.

"It's what you live for as a college basketball player, it's what you live for as a person. You want to be better than the next," Harris said. "If we go in here and give these guys our everything, I feel like we can win. If we don't, I'll be satisfied if we gave it our all." 

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