November 13, 2009

Confident Harris leads A&M into season opener

The Texas A&M men's basketball team that took the floor at Reed Arena for an exhibition game last Thursday had a completely different look than past Aggie teams. The different look wasn't in personnel but in style of play. The Aggies got out quick and ran the floor on their way to an 89-65 win over Texas A&M-Commerce, and even after the offensive outburst head coach Mark Turgeon said he thought his team should've scored 100 points.

A major reason for the Aggies getting out and running more efficiently is the improved play of sophomore point guard Dash Harris. After coming off the bench as a defensive specialist as a freshman, the 6-foot-1, 175-pound Harris is now the man running the show with senior Donald Sloan moving off the ball.

"He's more of an extension of me. There are guys that can lead and talk to their teammates and then there are guys who can go out there and do exactly what the coach wants and then relay it to the players quickly and Dash does that the best of all our guys," Turgeon said. "It's hard for Sloan because Sloan had to be such a scorer when he was at that position, or he thinks that way too. I just think (Harris') leadership on the floor and understanding what I want has come a long way from last year, and I think he's more comfortable."

Being a leader isn't anything new to Harris. Throughout his basketball playing career that has spanned both coasts, starting in his hometown of Inglewood, Calif., and the Los Angeles area to Montverde Academy outside of Orlando, Flor., where he played his junior and senior seasons in high school before heading to the middle of the country and Texas A&M, Harris has been the floor general. Even as a freshman that came off the bench for the Aggies last year Harris' name would constantly pop up as one of the top leaders on the team from teammates.

Now it's Harris who has been entrusted to take that leadership out of the locker room and onto the floor. And Harris is perfectly comfortable with doing just that.

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