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Ohio forward Khari Harley attempts a drive past Western Michigan guards Tyler Perry, left, and Kellen McCormick, right, during a game at the Convocation Center on Jan. 19. (FILE)

Men's Basketball: Khari Harley looks to lockdown on the defensive end

In the following weeks, The Post will analyze the Ohio men’s basketball roster and their potential impact in 2016-17.

This week, The Post will look at forward Khari Harley:

It’s all about staying healthy for Harley.

Harley is one of the Bobcats’ best perimeter defenders when healthy, but those defensive moments have been relatively rare during the past two seasons.

A part of his injury troubles stem from just plain bad luck. After starting the first seven games last season, Harley sat out against St. Bonaventure because of a nagging back injury — eventually losing his starting spot to, then-freshman, Jordan Dartis.

Prior to back strains, he suffered from mononucleosis under coach Saul Phillips’ first season.

“Wadly (Mompremier) and Khari have had awful luck health-wise,” Phillips said. “You can physically see it on them. And Wadly with Crohn’s disease and Khari with just a rubix cube for a back … they’ve both gone above and beyond in terms of trying to play through what would’ve discouraged a lot of other people.”

According to Phillips, none of the Bobcats — including the injury-prone Harley — are dealing with injuries heading into the new season.

And if fully healthy, Harley could be used to relentlessly face guard, or trail, opponents. He looked solid on defense in last year’s postseason and could be utilized in a “defensive-heavy” lineup. That would maybe include Harley, forward Mike Laster and freshman Rodney Culver — three of Phillips’ stronger defenders.

Along with a “defensive” lineup, Harley could be utilized in a “tall” squad, one that might look like Dartis-Harley-Kaminski-Taylor-Campbell. His length and mid-range game could be compatible with the solid 3-point shooting of Dartis, Campbell and Kenny Kaminski.

Regardless of what Harley’s role will exactly be in his third season, expect him to be used as a defensive cornerstone on a team looking to improve on that end of the court.

“We have more options this year and that is always good,” Phillips said.


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