The dream has come true. The decision of Moe Harkless to go pro after only a year at St. John's was met with some derision; but NBA executives were in love with his potential. The decision was a good one; Harkless was picked 15th in the draft by the nearby Philadelphia 76ers, who defeated the Chicago Bulls in the first round of the NBA playoffs.
"He was ranked very high on our board and we think he's a terrific athlete with tremendous upside," said Philadelphia Sixers head coach Doug Collins.
Harkless, one of the hot names in the draft, is loaded with length, blessed with ability to get above the rim, and has great anticipation/ IQ at 6'8". He still needs to work on his range at small forward, work on his strength, and improve his handle; but Harkless has shown the ability to develop, and has impressed NBA Executives with his maturity, poise, and burgeoning skill set.
Unlike some of the other comparably athletic and long forwards, the word "enigma" has hardly been attached to Harkless.
It took some time for Moe to develop his "killer instinct", even on a team desperately in need of scoring options. But after the departure of guard Nurideen Lindsey, shots - and the court - opened up. The exposure of the Duke game (Harkless dropped 30 points/ 13 rebounds/ 3 steals in the loss), the Providence game (32 points/ 13 rebounds/ 4 steals in the win), and the Pittsburgh game in the Big East Tournament (25 points/ 9 rebounds in the loss), put Harkless' potential on display, raising his draft stock.
It's been a long path for St. John's Moe Harkless, the impressive Big East Rookie of the Year from St. John's. From decommitting from UConn, Harkless found a home at home with St. John's as one of Steve Lavin's first recruits for the Johnnies. And he flourished on a team that returned 4% of the team's minutes from the previous year.
Harkless scored in double-figures 26 times, including seven 20 or more point games. By the end of the season, when he didn't have a good game, the Red Storm struggled to score.
Congratulations to Moe Harkless. Next to stars like the emerging Evan Turner and Andre Iguodala, Harkless will have time to find his game in the NBA under a taskmaster coach, similar to St. John's assistant Mike Dunlap. Their roster is the third youngest in the NBA; Harkless knows playing with a team younger than the others.
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