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  • Great Story on Elias Harris

    I found this great story on Elias Harris yesterday but didn't trust Google translator to convey the proper nuance and so requested our friend gruebler to help with a translation, which I've paraphrased further below, mostly to add formatting.

    Thank you, once again, gruebler for helping your language-challenged friends across the pond!

    "Looking forward to go through hell“

    In the radically rejuvenated German basketball national team, Elias Harris surprises even his coach


    Bamberg – The 4000 spectators have left the arena, the live-broadcast’s cameras are switched off and the words of NT coach Bauermann have trailed away.

    Elias Harris, high-school graduate from Speyer, is standing in front of the entry doors and struggles to put in words. Indeed, how to tell a story, that speaks for itself?

    "Sometimes I just can’t believe what’s happening here," finally Harris says, and he’s not alone with this. Just some weeks ago, the 20 year-old played in the ProB, Germany’s third division, for BIS Baskets Speyer in high-school gyms, "in big games some 600 people came," he says. And now? He has played his third international match for Germany, a 78:77 [victory] vs. Macedonia, at the Super Cup, a tournament in preparation for the European Championships. The EC starts on September, 7th in Poland. Harris will be there.

    Three very young players coach Bauermann has called into the team. Players from - that’s what he calls it – "the most talented generation since the one featuring the likes of Demirel, Okulaja, Schutze an Nowitzki". Besides Harris, these players are center Tibor Pleiss (19) and forward Robin Benzing (19), who was topscorer with 13points against Macedonia. "Robin might have been the most noticable one", Bauermann says, "but how Elias performed, impressed me most".

    Every single detail of this Friday’s script fit: In the competitive game in which the Germans had quickly fallen into arrears and then fought back, of course it was Harris, who in the last quarter equalized the score to 64:64, made 3pointers creating the first German lead and after falling behind again to equalize the score again at 72:72.

    "He has a great understanding of the game and a great calm," said the coach, who himself was a little bit suprised how Harris’ game confirmed his estimations, "That was of the very best."

    As the TV was present, Harris also was able to a show a couple of nice dunks. However, he has to keep on working on his shot. Being just 2,01m, in Speyer, he had to play power forward, the fate of big players in small clubs. Bauermann has other ideas for him. He sees him as a small forward and in the course of the game, he made him even play as a shooting guard to defend against Macedonian veteran Vrbica Stefanov, who until that moment scored at will.

    "It impressed me, how he, playing on the SG position- coped with the job to guard the PG," the coach said. This is why Bauermann closely watches Harris upcoming transfer to US-College Gonzaga. "I somewhat fear that he’ll be used there in the same role as he had to play in Speyer".

    Bauermann is in close contact with Gonzaga’s coaching staff. At least Harris – in contrast to his team mate Lucca staiger - will be allowed to play in the NCAA without being redshirted [lit: without a one-year ban]. That’s because Speyer played in the ProB without any foreign professional players and therefore will be considered an amateur team.

    "A ban would be a medium-sizes catastrophe", Bauermann said. This [being redshirted] is the reason why Robin Benzing for example, chose to move from ProA-Team Langen to German Bundesliga team Ulm instead of a US college. That’s no option for Harris: "It’s a fact that German players in the Bundesliga sit on the bench way to often", coach Bauerman said.

    The move to the US, another team mate had made it before: Center Patrick Femerling once went to University of Washington. That was in 1995. Now Femerling (34), just having been cut at ALBA Berlin, had offered to return to the national team, for which he played more than 200 games. On Saturday’s expected 65:73 loss against Croatia [the article wrongly names Serbia here], as the young players where given a break as they had a hard summer playing U20 EC, Femerling got his first minutes. „He’ll help us with his experience“, said Bauermann who knows that the European Championship come way early for his rejuvenated team. Even the preperation is a passage through purgatory. Femerling ist still looking forward to the tournament: "This is a young, fresh team. The guys are up to play national team," he noted.

    In Speyer, there are a few hundred people who have known this already.

    T
    Note from gruebler that accompanied the translation:

    Zagnative asked me to translate an article from Süddeutsche Zeitung. It was a really hard piece of work as the text is well written and plays with language. So please forgive me as my English is a good way from perfect.

    To be up for purgatory [note: I don’t know whether a rather literal translation works, „Bock aufs Fegefeuer“ means something like: „Looking forward to go through hell“]

    he original Text by Markus Schäflein (Sueddeutsche Zeitung) ist available online at... http://www.sueddeutsche.de/n5b38O/30...Fegefeuer.html
    gruebler, my apologies if I've done any harm to your excellent translation in attempting to make the story easier for English-speakers to understand. And a thousand thanks to you for your help in keeping tabs on Elias until we see the whites of his eyes on our campus!

    Note: Germany next plays vs Slovenia twice on September 2nd in Bonn and September 3rd in Karlsruhe. The roster has yet to be cut by two players. Maybe one will be Elias, and we'll see him on campus before the end of Eurobasket 2009 in Poland September 20. Or maybe it won't be Elias who gets the axe and we will have to wait ....
    Last edited by ZagNative; 08-24-2009, 05:24 PM.
    _______________________________
    Gonzaga - The Greatest Student Section in the Nation!

  • #2
    This is very exciting news for both Elias and Gonzaga. However, I have a couple questions:
    With his involvement playing for his national team, if he arrives at campus too late, will he have to wait until the Spring Semester to play?? It seems as though a player can only miss so many classes before being considered ineligable for the semester.
    Also, with his international play, is there a member of the GU coaching staff following him over there and watching him play? If they take note of his ability to play the SF or SG against top competition, it could certainly help mold him to be that type of player....

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    • #3
      As to your 2nd question, no, coaches aren't allowed to go watch recruits at this time.
      The Kennel: "You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy."

      Comment


      • #4
        This poster on a German language site (google translation here) seems to think Elias is a candidate to be trimmed from the roster for Poland. If that's true, we'll let out a sigh of relief at Gonzaga and look forward to seeing him on campus before the NT leaves for Poland.
        His strong appearances at the U20 European Championship might have been a major reason for Dirk Bauermann, nominated Harris for the A-national team. In the Super Cup last weekend in Bamberg, the 20-year-old was able to convince the game against Macedonia with 10 points, his best ever performance in the senior national team jersey.

        Harris can help with the team by coach Dirk Bauermann especially his aggressiveness and his rebound strength. Nevertheless, he will probably also one of the candidates are eligible for removal from the be final European Championship squad in question. Seen over the years, Elias Harris will probably remain but remain part of the senior national team, especially since he future of the Gonzaga University in Washington state (where even players like John Stockton and Ronny Turiaf of France got the basketball games), an excellent footballing basket summary Training will enjoy.
        It remains to be seen what role Elias will play at Gonzaga - PF, SF, or SG ... The role I've seen most posters slot him in here is as a PF. Obviously, that's not where Bauermann would prefer to see him ...
        Last edited by ZagNative; 08-24-2009, 05:14 PM.
        _______________________________
        Gonzaga - The Greatest Student Section in the Nation!

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        • #5
          I found it very, very interesting that he was playing scoring guard, and was playing it because of his ability to defend. I think this is great news. More and more I am learning that our recruits are defensive minded.
          Go Zags!!! The Best Is Yet To Come!!!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Reborn View Post
            I found it very, very interesting that he was playing scoring guard, and was playing it because of his ability to defend. I think this is great news. More and more I am learning that our recruits are defensive minded.
            The recent NCAA tournament where Davidson beat Gonzaga and then played Kansas to a dead heat. I sincerely believed that UNC was the team to beat that year. They proved it last season by dominating the post season with essentially the same personnel.

            If you recall that Kansas/UNC game, it was the stifling Kansas defense in the early part of the game that proved to be the difference. UNC made a big offensive come back, but it was too little, too late. I recall thinking that the defense shown by Kansas that day was the great equalizer against what I thought was a superior team.

            If players like Kong, Goodson, Harris, and Arop play defense to the potential they seem to have, the Zags may get over the hump with their own version of an "equalizer".
            I miss Mike Hart

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            • #7
              Harris

              Wow. Harris as a shooting guard. Wouldn't that disrupt the WCC! Not likely to happen while Matt B. is on the roster, but in a year or two, who knows.

              Go Bulldogs! Get Bigger!
              Do not go gentle into that good night,
              Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
              Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

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              • #8
                Wow... I cannot wait for this year. The suspense is killing me.

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                • #9
                  I'd be the last one to put any pressure on Elias and his near and dear to throw his sox and shorts in a duffle bag and high-tail it across the pond, bypassing Poland, but we really could use his help ... pronto ... at a position of his choice!

                  November 17, at Breslin Center in East Lansing where Elias and the Zags take on the NCAA National Championship Runnerup, Michigan State University.



                  December 19, at the grandest arena of them all, Madison Square Garden, to face Duke University:



                  January 2, at the home of the NBA's Chicago Bulls, United Center, in Chicago for a revenge match against the Fighting Illini of the University of Illinois.



                  And I can't see where there would be anything wrong, during practice before the game, just once to act out the greatest basketball intro ever, imagining just once that you really are like Mike, the greatest Bull of them all!

                  And for once, after finding Elias is used to playing before crowds maxing out at 600 in Speyer, no apologies for our own tiny, by NCAA standards, McCarthey Athletic Center, where, after all, we have the greatest student section in the nation, as proved by my signature:

                  _______________________________
                  Gonzaga - The Greatest Student Section in the Nation!

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                  • #10
                    As much as we've discussed Elias playing for the Zags this year, it appears he arrive after classes resume if he is selected to his National team. Does anyone know when Elias is planning to arrive on campus? The dates, bball tournaments, and his travelling schedule doesn't seem to add up for start of academic year. Can we realistically expect Harris to arrive prior to the start of the season or most likely after 1st semester?
                    “You’ve got to hit the Zag standard.”

                    And if it happens, those rites of Autumn become the rites of Spring.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Not to be Debbie Downer here, but we've been told for the last year that EH is a pf; which is a pressing need and in a poll that I did a little over a month ago about who would be the starting pf; Elias came in first. PF is a major need of ours and now we're being told that he's a sf/sg, which we're loaded at. I dunno, but reading that really threw me for a loop. Just sayin'.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by thespywhozaggedme View Post
                        PF is a major need of ours and now we're being told that he's a sf/sg, which we're loaded at. I dunno, but reading that really threw me for a loop. Just sayin'.
                        Great point and a legitimate concern Spy. The article conveyed that coaches and close confidants of Elias are trying to convince him his best position on the court is SF or even SG. After watching his youtube clips and videos on the board, he is not suited to play SG at the Divison-1 level. Elias relies heavily on offensive put-backs, rebounds, and athleticism to score a bulk of his points. Plus, he's 6'7", 225 lbs and seems to have a nice short-range game witht the ability to pull out and knock down the perimeter shot. However, he's never been a consistent 3-point or mid-range shooter. I don't want to discount coaches such as Bauermann, but he appears to be giving Elias poor advice if he hopes to utilize his skill-set at the college or pro level in the States.

                        Elias may be a good enough defender to play SG, but he simply doesn't project to be a backcourt player in Gonzaga's system. Besides, players such as Kelly, Bol, Manny, Bouldin will all see minutes at SF before Elias ever does. The kid is projected as a PF and will need to play PF if he wants to see major minutes next season, IMO.
                        “You’ve got to hit the Zag standard.”

                        And if it happens, those rites of Autumn become the rites of Spring.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Baldwinzag View Post
                          Great point and a legitimate concern Spy. The article conveyed that coaches and close confidants of Elias are trying to convince him his best position on the court is SF or even SG. After watching his youtube clips and videos on the board, he is not suited to play SG at the Divison-1 level. Elias relies heavily on offensive put-backs, rebounds, and athleticism to score a bulk of his points. Plus, he's 6'7", 225 lbs and seems to have a nice short-range game witht the ability to pull out and knock down the perimeter shot. However, he's never been a consistent 3-point or mid-range shooter. I don't want to discount coaches such as Bauermann, but he appears to be giving Elias poor advice if he hopes to utilize his skill-set at the college or pro level in the States.

                          Elias may be a good enough defender to play SG, but he simply doesn't project to be a backcourt player in Gonzaga's system. Besides, players such as Kelly, Bol, Manny, Bouldin will all see minutes at SF before Elias ever does. The kid is projected as a PF and will need to play PF if he wants to see major minutes next season, IMO.
                          Not by the coaches that are with him every day from practice to game time. That's the point and what's a bit disconcerting; we've all been told for months that he's a true pf, good enough to start as a true freshman, and then the head coach of his national team, says that he is not a pf, but a wing. This quote here freaks me out: Being just 2,01m, in Speyer, he had to play power forward, the fate of big players in small clubs. Bauermann has other ideas for him. He sees him as a small forward and in the course of the game, he made him even play as a shooting guard to defend against Macedonian veteran Vrbica Stefanov, who until that moment scored at will.

                          "It impressed me, how he, playing on the SG position- coped with the job to guard the PG," the coach said. This is why Bauermann closely watches Harris upcoming transfer to US-College Gonzaga. "I somewhat fear that he’ll be used there in the same role as he had to play in Speyer".


                          That could really mess up his head and game. Just sayin'.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by thespywhozaggedme View Post
                            Not by the coaches that are with him every day from practice to game time. That's the point and what's a bit disconcerting; we've all been told for months that he's a true pf, good enough to start as a true freshman, and then the head coach of his national team, says that he is not a pf, but a wing. This quote here freaks me out: Being just 2,01m, in Speyer, he had to play power forward, the fate of big players in small clubs. Bauermann has other ideas for him. He sees him as a small forward and in the course of the game, he made him even play as a shooting guard to defend against Macedonian veteran Vrbica Stefanov, who until that moment scored at will.

                            "It impressed me, how he, playing on the SG position- coped with the job to guard the PG," the coach said. This is why Bauermann closely watches Harris upcoming transfer to US-College Gonzaga. "I somewhat fear that he’ll be used there in the same role as he had to play in Speyer".


                            That could really mess up his head and game. Just sayin'.
                            I think anyone who thinks people are trying to convince Harris to be a SG is reading waaaaayyy too much into that one article IMO. No way is he a SG and I'm sure he knows it. It was a particular situation in a particular game. Bouldin was asked to play some PF in an international competition a while back, too, but he doesn't think he's a PF for a second.

                            As for playing the 3, as far back as we've had articles for Harris, the deal has been that he is a combo 3/4 who's strong at the 4 and slowly gaining the skills to transition to the 3. I remember reading something about that in the very first articles I read about him, months ago. That shouldn't surprise anyone. The bottom line is that he's strong, athletic, a good player, and pretty clearly has a spot on the team as a 4, at least for the moment.

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                            • #15
                              Crazy talk. Everyone knows he will play at the four. Some of us are thrilled with the idea that he has the athletic ability to defend a two.

                              If there is one place the Zags are stacked, it is at the two position. Harris won't see a minute there. Not this season. Not three seasons from now.
                              I miss Mike Hart

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