Q&A with Joe Harris
Question: What has been the biggest adjustment you have had to make going from playing at the high school level to playing in college?
Harris: The biggest adjustment is getting used to the game at this level, which is completely different. The players are more talented and athletic, the games are more competitive and the atmosphere is more intense. On the court, you have to get used to playing at a much higher level than you have ever played before.
Question: How has having the other first-years going through the same transition helped all of you adjust to your first year in college?
Harris: It has definitely helped us. We are all going through the same thing. There have been some ups and downs, but we know we are all here for each other. We were all here over the summer, basically the only people in this one dorm, and formed a pretty strong bond immediately with each other. That friendship has helped us through a lot this season.
Question: For you, how have you adjusted to going to college so far away from your home in Chelan, Wash.?
Harris: It is nice to be able to use the computer, with Skype and Facebook, to stay in touch with family and friends back home. There are times when it is tough to be away from home. All of us [first-years] are in a similar situation, since we are from all over the country. We lean on each other when we might get a little homesick and get each other through it.
Question: You have become a starter as a first-year and are averaging over 10 points per game this season. When you first got here, did you think you could make this kind of impact right away?
Harris: I can’t say that I anticipated that I was going to come in and do what I am doing. When we got here, Coach Bennett told us [the first years] that some of us were going to have to step up and contribute immediately. I think all of us have stepped up and tried to fill the roles we have been given.
Question: You are halfway through your first ACC season. Is playing in this league what you expected it would be?
Harris: I always dreamed of playing basketball at the highest level in college and it is great to be doing it in the ACC. Every night you are playing some of the best teams in the country. The arenas we get to play in, the atmospheres, it is fun. It is all a dream come true. But I am not satisfied with just playing in the ACC, I want to have success in the ACC and play for championships. That is why we are putting in all the hard work now, in order to reach that point in the future.