Terrell Harris is a 23 year old 190cm guard from Indiantown,Florida that completed his rookie season in Germany with the Iserlohn Kangaroos (Germany-ProB) averaging 18,1ppg, 4,3rpg and 1,8apg.. He started his basketball career at Mars Hill (NCAA2) in 2011 and then moved to Georgia College in 2012. As a senior he played 29 games averaging 24.6ppg, 6.7rpg, 4.0apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 59.1%, 3PT: 36.3%, FT: 76.8%. He concluded his college basketball career winning the All-PeachBelt Player of the Year 2016. Harris spoke to German Hoops during the long summer about his season with Iserlohn, his game and his future on the court.
Terrell thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how have you spent your summer?
Hey, Miles I hope all is well, always a pleasure to catch up with you. I am back at home in South Florida with my family. I’ve been training the entire summer in some different places such as my old high school and in Georgia as well. I have to keep getting better and better. So I been really pushing myself these past couple of months.
It has almost been three months since the end of the season where Iserlohn lost in the playoffs against PS Karlsruhe. Now looking back at that last series, what things would you have done differently to have won?
Yes three months seem like yesterday but we lost to a good team and well coached team. Personally I would’ve stayed out of foul trouble the first game. Moussa and I basically sat the entire bench the fist half. They took advantage of that by scoring and pushing the pace. We just couldn’t bounce back to win. The second game personally I couldn’t have done anything better really, that was one of my best all around game of the season.
You stated in our last interview in April that your season was just ok. Still you averaged 18.1ppg, 4.3rpg, 1.8apg, 2.1spg, FGP: 59.5%, 3PT: 35.7%, FT: 70.6%. Those are good stats by my book. You have that perfectionist attitude. From whom did you learn that from?
Yes I just thought I had a good season not a great season in my book. I know what I am capable of doing with my talent level and skill set. I expected to lead the league in scoring which I didnt. I also expected to lead Iserlohn to The Pro A which I didn’t so I had an ok season. I’m my biggest critic, I was throughout the entire season. If I learned one thing the most, it would be not to be too hard on myself all the time. I had games where I would go back and be like I scored 24 26 but I should’ve had more points and rebounds along with assists. My game grew a lot mentally and physically playing for Iserlohn and the circumstances we had to deal with as a team throughout the season. I learned a lot from playing basketball the correct way, fighting adversity, and just be myself no matter what.
You scored in double figures in 24 of 26 games. That is very consistent play on the scoring side. Do you feel like you should have been even more dominant on the scoring side?
Yes I honestly thought I could’ve dominated more on the scoring in but it was nights I had to sacrifice my game because I was playing along side with a double double machine Moussa Kone and a scoring four man Thomas Reuter. Those guys were good players as well so we all had to balance out games to make it work. I tried to balance my game where I was aggressive and made sure to keep my teammates involved. I struggled with that at times but I learned a lot from that aspect.
You stressed in our last interview that you developed as a rookie in Germany with your reads and passing out the pick and roll. But you stated that you still have work to do. What do you still need to work on?
I need to work on a lot of things from ball handling, reads on pick and rolls, defense, free throws, passing, etc. I am not perfect at anything, nobody in this world is perfect so there is always room for improvement.
In our last interview you stressed this about your former head coach Matthias Grothe “After our first preseason game at Schwelm, he put me into a position where I couldn’t retreat it was either drown or sink”. What would have happened in your rookie season had you not had Matthias Grothe behind you?
Matthias Grothe was hard on me in a way I needed it. He challenged me everyday and every game. The one thing I liked most about him was he didn’t care that I was the best player, he got on me and treated me like everyone else on the team. I learned so much from him as a player leading the Kangaroos. Matthias wanted the best for me even though it was tough to understand at times. He saw my talent level, whenever I dropped below his standards he stepped to me. I learned so much from him in one year then I did with my other coaches. I thank him for everything he taught me such as competing, staying aggressive, grit, and toughness. He will turn Phoenix Hagen around quickly.
You also stressed in our last interview that “I feel as in I can score in multiple ways spot up three, midrange pull up right hand or left and being very efficient doing so. I believe I shot the ball more efficient than any other guard in the league from the field. Alongside with a dominant post player. And at the end of the day we won a lot this season. My team didn’t play in the play downs like most of the top scorers. And I believe my team went the furthest out of all the top scorers in the playoffs. No disrespect to those guys because they are very talented just stating facts”. What professional goal do you have now? At what level do you see yourself?
I really mean what I said. No disrespect to those guys at all. I have a lot of goals I want to attain but my main goal is to maximize my potential. I just have to prepare and train for it. I will get there as long as I don’t take any shortcuts. I believe I can play at the highest level of basketball if I continue to put in the time and work into my game. I need to improve on a lot of things but once those weaknesses improve the sky is the limit.
How has the off season transfer period been for you? Have you had good offers and in what direction are you weighing in?
The offseason has been up and down. A lot of interest and some offers but I want to make sure I am making the right decisions. I want to challenge myself and basketball game. I would like to sign soon though. I know training camp is right around the corner.
Was Iserlohn never an option for you? They recently signed Julian Scott who was a top Pro B player in the 2015-2016 season.
Iserlohn did offer me to come back early on in the season about midway. I just wanted to take some time from basketball and let my body heal before making that next decision.
A lot of guards are being signed by Pro B teams. Is the Pro B the last retreat for you or would you play a second straight season in the Pro B?
I want to challenge myself so I am open to playing for whatever makes sense for my game to grow and of course to WIN.
You competed against PS Karlsruhe and Weissenhorn who now have changed their name to Orange Academy. How confident are you that you can ball efficiently at the Pro A level?
I played against some Pro A teams and watched Pro A games all the time. Chemnitz because of Chris Carter who I consider a very good friend. The competition is good. Of course the league is different from Pro B but if PSK can sign some good pieces to go along with the main players they have, they should be ok in Pro A. They are a well coached team and they play together.
You stated in our last interview that This summer I will focus on getting stronger and putting on a few pounds of muscle. I will run the beach a lot and some other things. I will also work on my handles and shots. Becoming more explosive as well. Have you been satisfied with your training?
Yes I have been working on the things I said I would work on. I do feel like I have gotten better. I enjoy training on the beach in the sand for more explosiveness. I enjoy working in my ball handling and shot, just helping me become an all around better player.
Have you worked on any other aspects of your game this summer that you feel has helped your game progress in the last two months?
Yes I work on a lot of things to help me improve from ball handling to pick and roll read and react along with shooting the long ball.
What was your summary of the 2017 NBA Draft? What players do see making an instant impact and who are sleepers?
I really didn´t pay attention to the NBA draft outside of the top 5 picks. I really wasn’t that much interested in it this year. Trying to focus on myself. Congratulations to those guys for living out their dreams.
Lebron didn´t win his 4th NBA chip. How far behind is he currently from being the best player of all-time and outlasting Michael Jordan?
I don’t like to rank players LeBron and MJ are special and great in their own right. Both are pioneers of the game. Much respect to both for setting the bar high.
What will the Houston Rockets be capable of doing next season in the playoffs with a Chris Paul, James Harden and Co?
The Houston Rockets situations is interesting. They can be either really good or average. They need one more piece to even compete with the Warriors though.
Was the whole Phil Jackson and New York Knicks relationship a misunderstanding? Why has this organization been so unsuccessful in the last years?
I’m not sure what Phil and the Knicks relationship was like to be honest. He was a successful coach so I think he should stick to coaching.
What was the last movie that you saw?
The last movie I saw was All Eyez On Me.
Thanks Terrell for the chat.