For senior Jordan Harris, he is learning to put the past behind him and move forward after his nine-game suspension to start the 2019-2020 basketball season.
“It’s tough to sit out any game, for any reason. I just happened to be suspended,” Harris said at Friday’s press conference before the team travels to Auburn. “It was tough watching the guys but I was able to watch a lot of ball, teach and show our guys all I know and all the information that I know and just help to guide them.”
Harris was officially ruled out earlier this season due to a “violation of team rules.”
“It sucked to sit out of the games but it was God just showing me something in a different way,” Harris said. “It was a bad decision that I made but I’ve put it behind me and haven’t looked back.”
Since returning on Dec. 20th, Harris is averaging 6.4 ppg off the bench and playing some valuable minutes for this young team. Harris is one of three seniors on this team and ten new faces with nine of them being freshmen. Despite his suspension, Harris says that his younger teammates still look up to him.
“They always looked at me as a leader from day one, so it wasn’t an issue,” Harris said. “For them, it was more like, ‘We just want you out here with us.’ I felt them feeling that way. There was nothing that either one of us could do. We just accepted it and always saw the good in it.”
Graduate transfer Donnell Gresham Jr. has officially played with Harris for less than a month, but know that he is a special guy to have on the roster.
“I see Jordan every day in practice and we know how good he is,” Gresham said. “But seeing him be successful since he’s gotten back it’s been very good for us.”
Georgia head coach Tom Crean said Friday that Harris is definitely making up for lost time, and is a great addition to have back.
“What he’s got to be as a tremendous defender. He’s got to be on the glass. You saw the other night with the driving,” Crean said. “I thought he did a better job the other night, but again, when you get overly anxious you start trying to hit a home run plays, and that’s not the kind of team we have, that’s not the kind of player that he is. We need him to be the explosive athlete that he is. We need him to be the score defender rebounder that he can be, but most importantly be a face of stability out there for the team, especially with as many young guys as he’s playing with.”
Georgia takes on the No. 5 Auburn Tigers at noon ET on Saturday.