Debatably the biggest surprise in the EYBL season has been the emergence of Southern Stampede sophomore Jared Harper. The 5-foot-8, 140 pound is a lightning rod for Coach Durham and the Stampede, and he's proven to be one of the most efficient players in the entire league. Harper is second on the team in scoring, notching 17.1 points per game while hitting an EYBL-high 40 three-pointers. D1's Alec Kinsky had the chance to sit down with the rising sophomore and ask him about his splash onto the EYBL scene:
Alec Kinsky: I bet you had high expectations this season, but did you think that you would be the fourth leading scorer among underclassmen through the first three sessions?
Jared Harper: No. I thought coming into my first year of EYBL that I would average 11-12 points and pretty much serve as a role player for my team. I didn't think I would be one of the main contributors to my team, but I'm impressed with how well me and my team has done in the first three sessions.
AK: What do you think is the biggest asset in your offensive arsenal?
JH: My biggest asset would have to be my shooting ability. My team depends on me to make open shots and they do a great job of setting me up. Other assets would be setting up my teammates for scoring opportunities and serving as a leader on the court.
AK: Any specific player you model your game after?
JH: If I had to say one player, it would be Damian Lillard. But I wouldn't just say one. I like to look at all guards and see what I can take from their game to use in my own.
AK: Any goals moving forward? Specific areas you're looking to improve?
JH: My main goals are to make it to Peach Jam, and improve overall. I always want to improve defensively because point guard is one of the hardest positions to guard. I'm also trying to become perfect, which means not turning the ball over and continuing to work on my jump shot.
AK: Which teammate do you think has made the biggest rise?
JH: My teammate Ty Hudson, who I've played with since a young age, made one of the biggest rises so far - got a lot of offers after the first session. It's good to see how much his skill has improved and how good of a player he has become - and how much better he will be. Ty, Prince (Ali) and I have proven that we can be one of the most efficient backcourts in the EYBL.