Terrell Harris is a 23 year old 190cm guard from Indiantown,Florida that is playing his rookie season in Germany with the Iserlohn Kangaroos (Germany-ProB). 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 after the 81-80 win against Wolfenbuetthel.
Congrats on the 81-80 win against Wolfenbuettel. We talked a few weeks ago after the stellar win against Stahnsdorf, but a buzzer beater is always news and gives me a reason to do a short Q & A with you. A buzzer beater is always big, but some players might classify it differently than others. How big does a buzzer beater rank with you in comparison to all other kinds of achievements in the world of basketball?
Thanks again, nice to talk to you once again Miles. Yes a buzzer beater is huge especially when you hit it but for me I am glad we were able to escape that game with a win. I am all about winning so that is all that matters in the bigger picture of things. We were looking to stay undefeated at home and we accomplished that Saturday night.
Before we get to the buzzer beater let´s talk a little about what happened in the first 39 minutes. Iserlohn came into the game reeling of a tough loss to the Artland Dragons. How big was the urgency to win against Wolfenbuettel?
Yes the game against Artland was tough for me because I felt like we could’ve beat them even though we were on the road. We learned from it and took a step forward though. Against Wolfenbuettel, we felt like if we stick to the game plan we will win the game. Throughout the games they had some players who hit some tough shots at the right time. Which was draining for us but we didn’t get low, we maintained a level head and continued to stick to the game plan.
The game started off low scoring as Iserlohn had the narrow 12-10 lead. How confident were you that the Iserlohn offense would get going?
Yes the game started off slow at first. Both teams were playing tight defense and physical, especially them so we had to adjust. Once we adjusted and got out on fast breaks things begin to open up for us.
You scored 12 points in the second quarter to give Iserlohn a lift including giving the phrase “scoring in buckets” a nice ring as you scored 4 consecutive baskets. Did you feel the need that it was Harris time? You scored a lot in the paint area. How faithful did you stay to the phrase “I took what the defense gave me” instead forcing?
Yes I came out the first quarter not as aggressive, I had to adjust how they were guarding me. Once I adjusted I picked up my scoring and so did the team and we got some stops in the second quarter which allowed us to get out and run.
With 18 seconds left you gave Iserlohn the 79-78 lead, but Wolfenbuettel struck back with Kelly who scored his 21st and 22nd points. What were you thinking at that moment with time running out? Did you know yourself as well as every other person that you were going to take the shot or were you thinking whoever has the best position to take the shot? Take us through that last shot? There was little time left. With the game you were having how high was your self-confidence?
Once Kelley made a huge basket for his team with a couple seconds to go, I knew it was plenty of time to get a good shot off. Thank God that the ball advanced to half court unlike college. Coach had drawn up a perfect play which basically put me in a ISO situation with one on one coverage. Once I caught the ball it was a quick jab to the rim. I thought about pulling up because my midrange is my strength to my game, but I blew by my defender. Once I saw Kelley rotate over I knew I had to finish over him because the possession before that I finished over him with contact but they didn’t call anything. Which is why I reversed the layup and did an up and under move. Good thing we had enough time for all of that.
How does your buzzer beater history look like as a basketball player from AAU up to the professional ranks. Where does this one rank?
I had a couple buzzer beaters. I will rank this one second because it was a layup which I would’ve been mad if I have missed it. Besides we were up the entire game so we had to win that one. I hit a buzzer beater in college off a midrange pull up on 2 people on the road. We came back from being down 15 or so. So hopefully I can top that one.
Did the team celebrate after the win? Was the team buying after the win or was it on you?
We always go upstairs to eat after the game and talk about the win with each other and fans. It was just another game. Nothing to major.
Do you feel like this shot could give the team a new spark and get a good winning streak going?
Yes I feel like the win more than the shot can give us the momentum we need to get on a winning streak. We need to have a good week of practice because we have a tough opponent in Bernau coming up on the road. I’m excited for this game. I’m positive we will be ready mentally and physically..
The momentum from this game is very timely as you next play against top team Lok Bernau. How excited are you for this battle?
I am very excited for this battle. You want to see what you are made of. I want to the best the team wants to be the best so we have to beat the best. This will be a good road challenge. So we have to bring it.
You had a good run this season scoring 24 against Oldenburg and 26 against Rostock and now in back to back games you have had 27 and 30. How will you mentally go into the next game approaching your own game? After two high scoring games, do you put a little pressure on yourself or do you just continue to play with what the defense gives you?
I go into every game the same mentally. Just have to take my time and make the right plays. Teams try to play tough and physical, which I am used to from college. As long as I play the game the right way and make the right plays I am going to be successful so as my team. I dont get caught up with the stats and the pressure of winning. I just focus on executing the little things in practice which are my habits then transfer them over to the game. As long as I play up to my ability the stats will come. As long as we win I’m happy.
With Curry, Thompson and Durant and the supporting cast, shouldn´t the Golden State Warriors be undefeated instead of 7-2? Or is that long undefeated run coming now?
The Warriors have a great team but the NBA also have great players too. It’s going to be a learning curve for them. The more they play the better they are going to become. Teams better beat them now because after all star break it’s going to be almost impossible to beat them.
Does a 0/10 shooting night by Steph Curry prove he is really only human?
Yes it proves that even the greats are not perfect. He still stuck to his habits and daily routine. Then the next game he set a record for the most 3’s in a game. What a coincidence right?
What was the last movie that you saw?
The last movie I saw was Lion King. I haven’t been watching any movies really. Just been reading a lot and breaking down film to improve my game.
Thanks Terrell for the chat.