In the offseason, thoughts run to many things…..what new recruits will be showing up as commitments for UK, what will the new team be like next season, where are the big games, etc. But one that always intrigues me is who on the team will improve from last season? Because we are so used to seeing these players and dissecting everyone of their games, most just assume that the player they saw last season is the player they will see next season. But often guys make exponential leaps from year to year. Nazr Mohammed, Jamal Magloire, Cliff Hawkins, Gerald Fitch, Ravi Moss, etc are just a few examples of guys who were vastly different players walking out of Memorial Coliseum than when they walked in. So who is most likely to make the leap this year…..
Well one candidate that at least has a shot is “Razor” Ramon Harris. Coming out of Alaska, little was known about the Razor…..actually scratch that, nothing was known about the Razor. We all assumed that he slept in an igloo, liked to ice fish, enjoyed being called an Alaskan Assassin and was a fan of Northern Exposure. But beyond that, there was very little to go on. And even after one semester, there werent a lot of “highlights” upon which one could predict success. His few on-court appearances always looked timid and his handling of the ball often reflected that nervousness. So questions remained and still follow the Razor today.
In fact, Harris is almost completely forgotten by fans in talking about next season. On the radio show we literally get more comments about the potential role of Mark Coury than Ramon Harris. I think most fans couldnt pick him out of a lineup and arent certain he is part of the team. So the question becomes, will the Razor be a player? From all I am hearing this offseason, the answer may be yes. The infamous “summer pickup games” (where Josh Carrier was a legend) have already produced the view that Harris has gotten his confidence and is showcasing his outstanding athleticism. I have had two basketball eyes tell me that Harris is projecting to be a player this season and is finding a role as a potential 3 man with Alex Legion. Woo swears that Ramon is the real deal and has told me “watch out for him next year.” And I still remember the Alaskan sportswriter last season who said Ramon was the second best Alaskan high school player he saw behind Trajon Langdon.
None of this is to suggest that success is certain for the Razor. He must compete with guys like Legion, Stewart, Stevenson, Patterson, etc for playing time. Ballhandling is supposedly still an issue and some question whether he can ever be a consistent outside shooter. But his athleticism is one of the 2 or 3 best on the team….he has extremely long arms and is a good defender. On this team, where guards are at a premium but rangy athletic guys will be called on to play up front, Ramon will have a chance to earn PT. I am unsure what the future holds for him, but I have a sneaky suspicion that Razor is ready to surprise. And if he does, he may be the most unknown good sophomore in UK history.
Listen below for some of the Mob today…..Rob did a great job on the Brooks interview and it will be featured here tomorrow. More later….