Home Virginia backup point guard Dante Harris is hitting the transfer portal: Analysis

Virginia backup point guard Dante Harris is hitting the transfer portal: Analysis

Chris Graham
uva dante harris wake
Photo: Mike Ingalls/AFP

Dante Harris, the former Georgetown transfer, is back in the transfer portal, after one underwhelming season at Virginia.

Harris averaged 2.5 points and 1.4 assists in 13.7 minutes per game, shooting 28.0 percent from the floor and 10.0 percent from three in 2023-2024 at Virginia.

You’ll see some reports of his underwhelming season at UVA make it about the ankle injury that forced him to miss 10 games, but let’s be honest – he wasn’t doing much before that injury.

In the five full games he played before sustaining the injury in Virginia’s 56-54 win over West Virginia on Nov. 22, Harris averaged 4.2 points and 2.0 assists per game, shooting 31.6 percent from the floor and 2-of-4 from three.

Those two makes, both in the 62-33 win over Texas Southern on Nov. 16, were his grand total for the season – that 10.0 percent mark that I referenced above came on 2-of-20 shooting from three on the season.

His calling card was supposed to be on the defensive end, and he was good on that end of the floor, holding opponents to 0.786 points per possession, per numbers from Synergy Sports, but that was just third among UVA’s point guards (Elijah Gertrude: 0.680 PPP, Reece Beekman: 0.714 PPP).

Harris had sat out the 2022-2023 season after playing two years at Georgetown, transferring out among the tumult from the end of the disastrous Patrick Ewing era.

As a sophomore in 2021-2022, Harris had averaged 11.9 points and 4.1 assists per game, shooting 37.5 percent from the floor and 27.5 percent from three.

His defense there … wasn’t good. Synergy Sports had him allowing 1.156 points per possession on defense in that 2021-2022 season.

I’m not sure what the selling point was on bringing Harris in, based on those, again, I’ll use the word underwhelming, shooting and defense numbers.

Tony Bennett talked a lot about Harris’ ball pressure, but it doesn’t take much to figure that the improvement in his defensive metrics was likely system-based as it was anything else.

The loss of Harris to the portal leaves Bennett, for the time being, with Gertrude, a rising sophomore, and Christian Bliss, a freshman who redshirted in 2023-2024, at point guard, with Andrew Rohde, who had an underwhelming transfer season of his own in 2023-2024, as an option at point as a 6’6” combo guard.

The portal will need to be kind to deliver another option or two heading into the summer and fall.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].