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Key matchup: Former Gonzaga guard Dominick Harris returns as LMU's top scorer

Jan. 29—Roughly a year ago, Dominick Harris was studying Gonzaga's scouting report on Loyola Marymount. This week, Harris is at or near the top of GU's scouting report on the Lions.

Harris spent three seasons as a Zag, seeing minimal playing time in 38 games and missing the 2022 season entirely following foot surgery. He didn't play in the Lions' 68-67 upset of Gonzaga at the McCarthey Athletic Center last January or the Zags' 108-65 rout in the rematch in Los Angeles.

The 6-foot-3, 190-pounder from Murrieta, California, transferred to LMU last May in search of more playing time and a bigger role. Harris found both, emerging as the Lions' leading scorer (14.7) and one of the best 3-point shooters in the West Coast Conference (58 made 3s, 43.3% accuracy).

He leads the team in minutes (29.2 per game) despite coming off the bench in the first 11 games before moving into the starting lineup. Harris has six games with at least 20 points, including a 31-point effort with seven 3s against Central Arkansas. He hit five 3s and scored 28 points against UNLV.

Harris opened the season with 12 points in 19 minutes in a 109-68 rout over NAIA Westcliff University, where his dad, Shawn, is the athletic director.

It goes without saying Harris will be highly motivated facing his former program as he tries to shake off a tough outing — six points on 2-of-9 shooting in a road loss to Saint Mary's on Saturday.

"That's my guy, man," Gonzaga junior guard Nolan Hickman said after Saturday's 82-73 win over Pacific. "I'm happy for him. He's over there doing his thing so all props to him, all praise to him. We're going to give him our best shot, that's for sure."

It's believed to be the first time a player who transferred from Gonzaga will line up against the Zags in Mark Few's 25 seasons as head coach. Jesse Wade played in two games against BYU during his freshman season as a Zag before joining the Cougars as a transfer. Wade was in BYU's program for three seasons, one as a redshirt, but battled numerous injuries that limited him to nine games, none versus Gonzaga.

"Dom's playing good, which I'm happy for him," Few said.

Harris was a four-star recruit in GU's 2020 recruiting class that included his friends Jalen Suggs and Julian Strawther, both now playing in the NBA. Harris wasn't able to carve out consistent minutes behind talented guards lines of Suggs, Andrew Nembhard and Joel Ayayi in 2021 and Hickman, Rasir Bolton, Hunter Sallis and Malachi Smith last season.

Harris and Sallis (Wake Forest) both opted to transfer after last season and Gonzaga has been thin on guard numbers behind starters Hickman and Ryan Nembhard, Andrew's younger brother.

Hickman, typically assigned to guard the opponent's best perimeter player, will likely match up on Harris, who is shooting better on 3-pointers (43.3%) than 2-pointers (41.7%). The redshirt junior hits nearly 79% of his free throws.