Saturday afternoon’s 83-76 loss to Duke showed a different kind of Moe Harkless.
Put it this way:
As an analogy to a classroom, Moe Harkless came to St. John’s as an “A” student. He aced every test that was put in front of him, participated in class, was a model student. He was someone you could point to and say, “Him, right there. He is a great student.”
But after his 30-point, 13-rebound performance at Cameron Indoor, Harkless is showing how he has grown from the “A” student into a player who can dominate in the future.
The biggest knock on him during his time in Queens has been his lack of aggressiveness, at time, through the first 20 games of his career. Then what happened against Duke?
On his first touch of the game, he drove baseline and slammed it home. No layup. Might as well finish with authority on the road.
He had two more dunks in the first 11 minutes of the game, on his way to becoming the first Red Storm player in the history of the program to put up 30 points at Cameron Indoor.
In the wake of his breakout performance vs. Duke, which was really his second breakout performance, considering his records 32 points in his Big East debut against Providence.
But this was different because it was on national television, at one of the most famous venues in the country, against a Top 10 team.
The national audience got their first glimpse at a future pro.
The most telling part of the game for Harkless, though, was not in his statline or the three dunks he had in the first half.
You can see the change in Moe Harkless by his facial expressions. At almost every camera shot of him during the game, he had a mean, determined-looking scowl on his face that we have not seen from him in the past.
If Harkless keeps that up for the rest of the season, St. John’s may be in line for a few more upsets before the conclusion of 2011-12.