Monday, August 18, 2008

University of Virginia's Harris Transfers To UAlbany

Will Harris is returning to his home state.

Harris, who's from Queens, N.Y., confirmed yesterday that he's transferring from the University of Virginia to the University of Albany. The 6-6, 245-pound forward will have two seasons of eligibility for the Great Danes after sitting out 2008-09.

Albany's assistant coaches include Jeremy Friel, whose brother Keith played basketball at U.Va. before Harris enrolled there.

Harris was looking for a program where he could have a bigger impact, and "I feel like it's a situation where I can go in and do some good things," he said.

As a freshman, coincidentally, Harris played against Albany. He went scoreless in nine minutes in the Cavaliers' 84-57 romp over the Great Danes in the NCAA tournament's first round.

Harris, who turns 22 next week, played in 47 games for U.Va., with three starters, and averaged 3.3 points and 3.0 rebounds. In his most memorable game, Harris totaled 14 points and six rebounds in a December 2006 victory over N.C. State.

Back problems limited Harris to 15 games in 2007-08, but he said he's healthy again and feels great.

Harris, who also considered Marist and Valparaiso, said he's bittersweet about leaving U.Va. He's excited about the opportunity that awaits him at Albany but will miss Virginia's players and coaches.

"I loved it out here," he said. "My experience here was great." -- Jeff White

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