Trojans Super Sophomore Collects Offers from Seven More D1 Schools
NORTH EDISON, NJ—Prior to the start of the 2019-20 GMC boys basketball season, GMC Hoops reported on St. Thomas Aquinas’ Jaquan Harris receiving scholarship offers from Auburn and Rutgers. Since that time, many more NCAA D1 offers have been given to the North Brunswick native. Over the past several months, Harris has picked up 7 more offers including three from Big East schools.
According to Verbal Commits, Harris has received offers from Merrimack, which has moved up to D1 and the Northeast Conference after being D2 and in the Northeast-10 Conference, University of Arkansas-Little Rock, Bryant, and more recently as per twitter, Illinois of the Big Ten and Georgetown, Seton Hall, and St. John’s of the Big East. With these recent offers, Harris has garnered a total of 9 scholarship offers from Division I schools, and he has deserved every one of them.
In his first season at St. Thomas Aquinas, Harris was selected to the 2020 All GMCT Team, 2nd Team All GMC Hoops, and GMC Hoops Sophomore of the Year just to name a few accolades. He along with Quadry Adams, Derrick Grant, Kyree Henry, Tristian Jefferies, Jalen Jones, Samar Abdullah, Derrick Golden, and Mehki Johnson made up the main rotation on the 2019-20 Trojans squad that went on to win its first Greater Middlesex Conference Boys Basketball Tournament Championship in 28 years.
During his sophomore campaign this season at Aquinas, Harris made 81 field goals, 58 threes, and 52 free throws for a total of 389 points along with collecting 140 assists, 113 rebounds, 63 steals, and 17 blocks in 26 games for an average of 15.0 points, 5.4 assists, 4.3 rebounds, 2.4 steals, and 0.7 blocks. Harris ranked first on the Trojans in threes made and assists, second in total field goals made, scoring and steals, third in rebounds, blocks, and free throws made.
Harris scored in double figures in 22 of the 26 games he played in this season for St. Thomas Aquinas according to stats compiled by NJ.com. Of those 22 games, Harris had at least 20 points on four occasions including a season high 30 points in an 85-78 OT victory at South Plainfield on February 7th. He also recorded three double-doubles this year including that same game against the Tigers with 11 assists while collecting 18 points and 10 assists in a 98-65 victory over Mater Dei in the 2019 Friends of South Amboy Benefit Showcase on December 21st, and 14 points and 11 dimes in an 84-49 win over Metuchen on January 3rd.
Although he displayed the characteristics of a guard such as tremendous perimeter shooting and playmaking, Harris also wasn’t afraid to go to the basket and throw it down on offense while taking on rebounding and shot blocking responsibilities on defense. In the 2020 GMCT, Harris grabbed 23 rebounds over the final three rounds including 9 versus South Brunswick in the Championship Game, and 8 against Edison in the semifinals. He also had a season high 3 blocks in a key 68-64 win at Carteret on January 31st.
In addition to his rebounding and shot blocking, Harris also was very good in swiping steals. He had a season high five thefts on three occasions during the 2019-20 campaign including opening night at South River (won 81-26), against Carteret (won 45-40) at home on January 13th, and at Metuchen on January 22nd (won 77-49). Harris, who helped Aquinas finish 23-5 overall, has plenty of athleticism and versatility to his game, which makes him a top candidate to play at many D1 schools.
Harris is not the only Aquinas player that has been offered by Bryant. Junior Tristian Jefferies has also received interest from the Bulldogs of the NEC while Kelsey Ransom, the 2020 GMCT Girls MVP, has committed to Georgetown. There are also GMC connections to a number of the other schools Harris has received offers from. Another North Brunswick native and Aquinas alum, Dillon Salva, played both football and basketball at Merrimack when it was in the Northeast-10 Conference and NCAA D2.
In addition, Jake Dadika, who played high school hoops at St. Joseph’s and Spotswood, and ultimately became the Chargers all-time leading scorer before graduating in 2014, has served as a graduate assistant to Rutgers men’s basketball head coach, Steve Pikell the past two years after being a four year letterwinner and tri-captain of the 2017-18 Scarlet Knights team. Former Colonia standout and head coach, Brandon Hall, who also played D1 college hoops at St. Peter’s University, has served as a graduate assistant to Seton Hall men’s basketball head coach, Kevin Willard the past two seasons.
Congratulations Jaquan on your continued recognition from these fine schools, and best wishes for continued success.