Spiders' Harper playing his way onto NBA radar

By Hank Kurz Jr.

Associated Press

Published: Friday, Jan. 28 2011 1:50 p.m. MST

In this photo taken Nov. 15, 2010, Richmond's Justin Harper, center, goes for the basket against William and Mary's JohnMark Ludwick, left, and Julian Boatner during an NCAA college basketball game at the Robins Center in Richmond Va. Harper has been one of the best players in the Atlantic 10, and scouts are noticing.

Richmond Times-Dispatch, Eva Russo, Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. — Richmond forward Justin Harper has finally added consistency to his game and is playing his way onto the radar of NBA teams.

At 6-foot-10 and with a smooth stroke from beyond the 3-point line, Harper has mixed in more low-post moves and utilized his great leaping ability as a rebounder to gain notice.

The senior is averaging 17.9 points and shooting better than 56 percent from the field for the Spiders (16-5, 5-1 Atlantic 10), who host Xavier (14-5, 6-0) at noon Saturday. In league games, Harper's even better — averaging 23.7 points and shooting nearly 59 percent.

NBA scouts have attended pretty much every game, and several are expected Saturday.

Harper says the key for him is not to think about it and to just keep playing his game.

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