Rhode Island Forward Jermaine Harris to Transfer

Big, yet relatively unsurprising news out of Kingston, Rhode Island. Former 4-star recruit Jermaine Harris has entered the NCAA transfer portal.

There was much speculation on Harris’ future plans prior to the start of last season. Harris was immediately seen as the odd-man out following the Mitchell twins transferring from Maryland to Rhode Island. Harris went from starting 63 straight games to coming off the bench 21 times during the 2020-21 season. Off the bench as a junior, Harris averaged 3.3 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 0.2 blocks, in 13.9 minutes per game.

Makhel Mitchell’s dominant season solidified him atop the depth chart of the Rhody frontcourt, relegating Harris to a bench-role. Antwan Walker’s heightened level of play last season further prevented Harris from sliding into the starting lineup.

Overall, it can’t help but feel like Jermaine Harris had somewhat of an underwhelming tenure at the University of Rhode Island. Harris’ raw potential was always apparent, but fleeting. Foul trouble seemed to constantly plague his ability to get into rhythm on the offensive end. His questionable shot selection (3 for 25 on three-pointers in 2019-20, and 2 for 11 on three-pointers in 2020-21) made possessions with him at the top of the key feel like an absolute rollercoaster for Rhody fans. However, Rhody fans will also remember the hope and promise that Harris’ recruitment and commitment to URI over Xavier brought to the program. His high-energy play on the court and mature handling of his demotion to the bench cannot and should not be overlooked.

Roster Impact

How David Cox replaces Harris and fills that open scholarship spot on the roster will be interesting to monitor. In other Rhody roster news, following some cryptic social media posts regarding his brother’s recruitment, there’s some speculation among fans whether or not redshirt freshman Tres Berry will also stay in Kingston. Here’s a tweet with some wording that seems to imply Tres intends to play with Quante, despite Rhody not being in his brother’s top 5:

Rhode Island’s recent reported interest in LSU transfer Joshua LeBlanc (forward) may have foreshadowed this Jermaine Harris news. Of note, LeBlanc played alongside Antwan Walker during their overlapping time at Georgetown in 2017-18. But unfortunately for David Cox, LeBlanc committed to UAB yesterday morning.

(Genuinely) Happy Trails to Jermaine Harris

Despite it not working out in the end for Harris, the former 4-star recruit was a major piece of the Rhody front-court for 3 seasons. Harris handled his demotion to the bench last season about as well as one could ask of an upperclassmen. Additionally, despite being a Hurley recruit, Harris stuck around to play for David Cox instead of transferring during the regime change. With all that in mind, a change of scenery is understandably warranted for both Harris, and the program.

Given his athleticism, Harris should get a chance for major minutes and to be an instant impact at another program. Wherever that may be, he’ll have many Rhody fans rooting for his success and fulfillment of that 4-star potential.