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The Impact of Hyrum Harris

24 Jan
4 mins read

Written By

Amber Thomas

You never know when an opportunity is going to present itself.

From rounds 1-5 the Perth Wildcats were averaging just 86.6 points per game while shooting at 42.4 per cent from the field (FG%) and 30.5 per cent from outside the arc (3P%)

From rounds 6-16 that improved out of sight, with the points per game rising to 99 points at a 45.5 FG% and 33.5 3P%. 

The team's rebounding also improved significantly, with the rebounds per game increasing from 35.5 to 43.1.

There are many factors that went into the team’s turnaround that commenced in Round 6, one of those being the insertion of Hyrum Harris into the starting line up. 

If you’ve been watching the Wildcats in NBL24 then you’d know the impact that Harris has had on this team, but the analytics back it up.

The NBL record a statistic called ‘Impact’ which measures the standardised impact total that combines a player’s plus minus as well as the team’s expected points scored and allowed while the player is on the court to show what impact the player has had for the team compared to expectation.

Harris holds the third highest impact in the league with +86.6, second to only Tasmania’s Jack McVeigh and Melbourne’s Flynn Cameron.

Harris also holds the 7th highest +/- in the league at +103, while averaging significantly less minutes than five of the six players ahead of him. 

It’s a remarkable feat for the NZ forward, who after spending time in Illawarra, Cairns and Adelaide, is flourishing in Perth. 

Perth General Manager of Basketball Operations Danny Mills spoke of his impact on The Dribble Podcast, complimenting Harris both on and off the court.  

“The way he can connect with other higher usage players on the floor I think that’s what’s really allowed him to thrive in that starting unit,” Mills said.

“When that change was made and John (Wildcats head coach John Rillie) and the staff put him into different line ups, especially that starting line up, I think he has really blended well with those other guys.

“He’s a really impactful player, he’s a fantastic person and it’s been awesome to see that everything that’s asked of him on and off the court he does it with a smile on his face and he’s got a really bright future ahead of him.”

ESPN’s Olgun Uluc was also full of praise for Harris’ impact on The Aussie Hoops Hour Podcast. 

“I’m so intrigued at how teams haven’t scouted Hyrum Harris properly yet,” he said.

“I get it’s tough because these guys work harder than you but these guys are just consistently constantly on the boards.

“That second shot creation is so important… they’re creating extra possessions for their teams to get points.”

As well as his impact on the team, Harris is having a career year personally.

In NBL24, he has achieved career-highs in minutes averaging 14.6 per game, points with 14, rebounds with 11 and offensive rebounds with five.

Up until this season Harris had only made four three-pointers in his career from 18 attempts, in NBL24 he has made six at a remarkable 46.2 per cent.

Overall, Harris is shooting the ball at a remarkable rate holding the 6th highest EFG% in the league at 65.1%.

The only statistic holding him back from a coveted 50/40/90 season is his free throw percentage (FT%), though he’s also shooting a career-high from the line at 80 per cent.

Mills shared pride of the season Harris is putting together. 

“For him to be this kind of fringe NBL player for a few years and now really find his feet in the league with us is exciting,” he said.

Harris and the team are back on court for Membership Recognition Round against Illawarra at RAC Arena tomorrow.

Get your tickets here

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