After spending some time floating around NBA rosters, former Wildcat center Josh Harrellson has found a new home in Japan, playing for Osaka Evassa. Averaging a double-double, Harrellson is near the top of the Japense B. League in multiple statistical categories. Harrellson is eighth in scoring at 18 points per game, second in rebounding at 13 a game.
Where he’s surprised many in Japan is his three-point shooting ability. Very rarely do they see 6’11 guys stroke it from behind the three-point line, yet Harrellson is knocking down 39.7% of his attempts from behind the arc. Even though he didn’t shoot many threes at Kentucky, Jorts told the Japan Times he owes all of his success to the time he spent practicing at Kentucky against DeMarcus Cousins and Enes Kanter.
“So that kind of transformed me into the player I am,” Harrellson said, “battling those guys every day, playing against the best. They just make you better and that’s what they did.”
Those experiences enabled Harrellson to expand his game and to make the 3-point shot a staple of his offensive repertoire.
“Even in college against DeMarcus Cousins it’s hard to post him up,” Harrellson said of the 211-cm bruiser who’s averaging 28.3 ppg for the Kings and was one of five Wildcats picked in the first round of the 2010 NBA Draft.
“Even in my senior year against Enes Kanter he didn’t play (due to NCAA violations), but every day we practiced against each other so I had to stretch the floor a little bit. Even though I didn’t shoot as much in college as I do now, we just had so many weapons in college, and now I just feel more comfortable stretching that floor.”
It’s great to hear Jorts has found a good fit. Even if he doesn’t return to the NBA, you can call his career after Kentucky a success.