Moe Shows New Intensity

St. John’s freshman Maurice Harkless earned Big East Rookie of the Week honors after averaging 26.5 points per game and 13 rebounds against West Virginia and Duke last week.


The 6-foot-8 forward averaged 26.5 points and 13.0 rebounds a game over the course of the week where the Red Storm went 1-1.  Along with the Duke performance, he contributed 23 points and 13 blocks against West Virginia.


What wasn’t evident in the box score of the 83-76 loss, his teammate Sir’Dom Pointer said, was the emergence of the newfound aggression Harkless demonstrated, both while attacking the rim and during timeouts with his teammates.


“[Harkless] came ready to play. It was in his eyes,” Pointer said. “He could do it every night…If he keeps doing that, we’ll win a lot of games.”


Harkless is usually an emotionally reserved player, and his teammates said they weren’t used to the type of intensity they saw during timeouts with their lead player giving guidance and showing a strong desire to win.


“We had a [former player] address that he needed to show more emotion and so he showed emotion on his face,
an intensity, and also a joy,” said assistant coach Mike Dunlap, “We think all of that came out in that game [against Duke].”


While playing at DePaul may not be the same as playing in front of the “Cameron Crazies” against Duke, freshman Phil Greene expects Harkless to keep up the same intensity. When asked if Harkless will continue the aggressive play seen in North Carolina, Greene responded with an emphatic “Yes, definitely.”


“It gets me going [when] you see Moe being kind of aggressive,” Greene added. “Usually he’s kind of laid-back, makes it look easy. Once he’s aggressive, the whole mood of the game changes.”


It has taken some time for Harkless’ teammates to fully understand the lead role he plays, but as the season has gone on, Harkless’ role has become more defined.


“It has taken time, they embrace him,” said Dunlap, “The proof is in what you do, not what you say, so as a coach it can be kind of contrived if you’re forcing it.”


Dunlap added, “It’s getting easier, but that’s just guys playing together.  We’ve been a young team finding our way.  I think some of that is through the lessons, not the telling.”