Citadel basketball preview: Senior guards hold the key to Bulldogs’ success

#10 Marshall Harris

#10 Marshall Harris

by: Andrew Miller Postandcourier.com
Nov 10 2014 4:46 pm

The Citadel’s Marshall Harris is the quintessential point guard. A pass-first player that would rather set up one of his teammates for an easy basket than shoot the ball himself. His backcourt running mate, Ashton Moore, is a shooter and a natural scorer. Moore has the ability to take over a game and win it nearly all by himself.

Taken separately, Harris and Moore are completely different players. But put them together and they are a perfect combination of passing and scoring that any coach would envy. Harris and Moore, both seniors, have started nearly 60 games together over the last three seasons for the Bulldogs and arguably make up one of the top backcourts in the Southern Conference this season. The hopes of the Bulldogs’ season ride on the passing and shooting of Harris and Moore and their ability to take that next step to become a dominant backcourt in the SoCon.

“Those two guys are going to set the tone for us both offensively and defensively,” said Citadel coach Chuck Driesell. “They’re going to have the ball in their hands most of the time and they’re going to be at the top of our defense. It starts with them. They’ve been through a lot over the last three seasons and they know what to expect. They’ve had a great work ethic and a great attitude over the last three years. They’ve both improved each season they’ve been here.”

Harris and Moore have a bond that few teammates share. They have been close since their freshman ear at the downtown military school and have been roommates since their sophomore seasons. “We know each other so well,” Harris said. “We know our strengths and our weaknesses and we just know what our role is on this team and what we need to do to be successful on the court. I know Ashton’s game, I know where he likes to shoot and where he’s going to be on the floor. I just try to get him the ball as much as I can.” Of the 361 career assists that Harris has had during his three-year career with the Bulldogs, he estimates nearly half have resulted in a basket by Moore. Harris is only the fourth player in school history to hand out 100 assists in back-to-back seasons and last year posted the seventh best assist-to-turnover ratio in Citadel history at 2.02 (131 assists, 65 turnovers).

“Marshall is facilitator, he likes to get everyone involved,” Driesell said. “He’s very unselfish, sometimes even a little too unselfish. He’s does a good job of taking care of the ball and making good decisions on the court.” With Harris moving the ball around the floor, Moore had a breakout season last year, establishing himself as one of top shooting guards in the SoCon. Moore averaged 14.1 points a game and broke the 20-point plateau 10 times a season ago. He scored in double-digits in each of the final seven games of the season and averaged 23 points a contest. He poured in 35 points against Davidson and then had back-to-back 24-point games in the SoCon tournament. “I was playing with a lot of confidence and my teammates were getting me the ball,” said Moore, who was named to the preseason All-SoCon second team. “I got into a nice shooting rhythm it seemed like every game.” Harris and Moore will need to continue their solid play if the Bulldogs hope to improve on last year’s 7-26 mark.”Obviously, we need those guys to play like seniors,” Dreisell said.

Not having Matt Van Scyoc, the team’s leading scorer, will hurt certainly the Bulldogs’ offense. Van Scyoc, who would have been a junior this season, averaged 14.3 points a game a season ago, but transferred to Indiana State over the summer.

Sophomore Brian White is coming off a solid freshman season. Senior post players C.J. Bray and P.J. Horgan, who each missed part of last season due to injury, will need to stay healthy this season.

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