Coach Pitino has made it known that he will recruit a 5th year transfer (or two) to help bolster the Cards’ backcourt next year. The staff has been keeping tabs on 4-star JUCO standouts Mychal Mulder and Teyvon Myers and Myers is scheduled to make an official visit soon. However, a proven D-1 scorer may be available after this season. 6’4 Tyler Harvey plays – and leads the nation in scoring at 22.8 ppg – for Eastern Washington. This elite scoring guard shoots 47% from the field, 43% from 3, and 85% from the free throw line. He wasn’t highly sought after coming out of high school, but after redshirting at EWU, he’s emerged as a major scoring threat. ESPN’s Jeff Goodman wrote a story about him, highlighting his quiet journey of becoming college basketball’s “best kept secret.”
Then, in November 2010, came a chance meeting in Spokane, Washington. Frank Harvey was returning from officiating a San Diego State-Gonzaga game when he ran into Jim Hayford, the head coach of the Whitworth University Pirates, a team then ranked No. 1 in Division III. The pair had known each other for years, from the days when Frank was working NAIA games and Hayford was an assistant at Azusa Pacific. Harvey did what any proud father would do and performed his best sales pitch. It worked — Hayford later made a trip to evaluate the younger Harvey in California’s state tournament.
“He was so skinny,” Hayford said. “He looked like a long-distance runner for the Kenyan national team. He was awkward and needed to grow into his height.”
But Harvey could shoot it, and that was the type of player Hayford had thrived with at Whitworth. He made it clear he wanted Harvey, and after a visit to the school and virtually no other interest elsewhere, Whitworth was the way Harvey was leaning.
Days later, in March 2011, Hayford got the head job at Eastern Washington. Harvey was left in limbo, wondering whether his dream of playing college basketball was history.
“I’d probably just be a regular student somewhere or would have tried to walk-on to one of the local D-I schools like Long Beach State,” Harvey said.
But Hayford needed players at EWU, and knew Harvey could do at least one thing: make shots.
Hayford met with the Harvey family, and made an offer to Tyler: Come to Cheney, Washington, pay your own way as a walk-on, and sit out your freshman season as a redshirt while trying to develop your body.
What is interesting pertaining to Louisville’s situation….
“Tyler is an outstanding shooter with unlimited range and has no conscience,” said Weber State coach Randy Rahe, who coached Portland Trailblazers star Damien Lillard in college. “He is one of the best, tough shot-makers we have played against in recent years.”
Harvey is unfazed by the attention. He had no idea he was leading the country in scoring when Hayford informed him in January. He didn’t have a clue NBA scouts had been making their way to the small town of a little more than 10,000. Harvey wasn’t a silver-spoon recruit, and that’s why he still doesn’t take anything for granted.
“Such a blessing,” Tyler added. “I never dreamed of doing anything like this.”
There’s another elephant in the room, one that was welcomed in thanks to Harvey’s success both on the floor and in the classroom. He graduates this spring. So he could take a shot at the NBA draft or could even transfer to another school and play immediately due to the NCAA’s graduate transfer rule.
“He could pick his school,” Hayford admitted.