Season in Review: MANNY HARRIS
Harris’ audition came during this past preseason – seizing on a two-game Texas trip and making the team out of Training Camp. Michigan’s former Mr. Basketball played sparingly in the first two months of the season, by found himself in the starting lineup as the calendar turned to 2011 – starting 10 of Cleveland’s next 11 games.
Harris made his big splash out West, doubling-up against Golden State and dropping 27 on the Suns in Phoenix two nights later. The 6-5 combo guard hit a wall and came out of the starting lineup, only to be back four games later. In his next three starts, Harris went for 20, 20 and 19 on his way to being a fixture in the starting lineup. But again, Manny’s production fell off – and Anthony Parker replaced him in the starting five virtually the rest of the season.
On the year, Harris would finish with averages of 5.9 points and 2.6 boards per contest. Manny was 17th among rookie scorers, 13th in assists and 9th in free throw shooting.
Highlight: In just his fifth career start, in the opening games of a five-game West Coast trip, Manny followed up a strong effort in Oakland with a 27-point, eight-rebound performance against Phoenix. Manny logged 41 minutes, went 7-for-13 from the floor and didn’t commit his first (and only) turnover of the night until late in the fourth quarter of a tough 108-100 loss.
Lowlight: After getting 14 starts in January and February, Manny hit the dreaded Rookie Wall down the stretch. He notched double-figures just once in the final two months of the season and didn’t start again until the second-last game of the campaign.
Odds and Ends: … Raised in Detroit, Harris has nine brothers and sisters. His real name is “Corperryale” and his nickname “Manny” was given to him by his dad – based on the character that played Tony Montana’s best friend in the film “Scarface.”
By the Numbers: 87 … points Manny Harris fell shy of Smush Parker’s single-season point total (408) for a Cavaliers undrafted rookie.
Looking forward: Manny beat the odds to get this far – going from undrafted rookie with a summer injury to starting two-guard by January. But the former Wolverine faded down the stretch and never recaptured that midseason magic and will have to re-audition once again this summer.
Harris is a decent decision-maker with the ball, and he’s a long and willing defender who likes to rebound. But he’ll have to improve on his 37 percent shooting from his rookie season. Like his freshman teammate, Christian Eyenga, strength coach Stan Kellers will also keep Manny busy in the weight room.
Quotable: Harris, talking about Cavalier fans in the midst of a 26-game losing streak …
“(Cleveland) just seem like it’s a real loyal city – loyal fans. Even though we’ve been on a losing streak – a bad losing streak – you still have the support of the people. I know I do, personally. I get a lot of support from people around Cleveland.
“Even though they know we’re going through a bad time right now, you still feel that support.”