The 2015 NBA Draft is filled with promising young talent that’s primed to leave their mark on the league for years to come. College basketball’s leading scorer, Tyler Harvey, is one of those prospects looking to take the next step in his basketball career.
There is a lot to love about Tyler Harvey. As stated before, he led the NCAA in scoring with 23 points per game. He did this shooting a remarkable 47 percent from the field and 43 percent from three-point range, stats which make NBA scouts salivate.
Harvey has all the tools to be an NBA superstar, however it was a chance encounter that enabled him the opportunity to showcase his skills.
Current Eastern Washington coach, Jim Hayford, first found out about Harvey from a complete stranger siting next to him on his flight home. It just so happened that stranger was a former basketball referee, and also Tyler Harvey’s father.
On that flight, Hayford was urged to dig deeper into Tyler Harvey. After doing his due diligence, Hayford came away impressed by what he saw.
“You don’t last long going on other people’s opinions — especially not a father’s opinion of his own son,” Hayford told Yahoo! Sports. “But once I saw him, I was pleasantly surprised by his ability to drive and to shoot. I said, ‘This kid’s going to be pretty good.”
He offered Harvey a chance to play with his team at Whitworth College, a small Division II school outside of Spokane. However, when Hayford left Whitworth to coach at Eastern Washington, a spot for Harvey wasn’t available, making his opportunity at playing college basketball a little problematic.
There was a silver lining to Hayford leaving for Eastern Washington. He was able to give Harvey a chance as a walk on to a Division 1 program, something he thought was once unattainable.
“I never imagined I’d be in Cheney, Wash. — I’d never heard of it,” Harvey told Fox Sports. “Coming off my senior year in high school, I wasn’t getting any looks. I thought maybe my basketball career was over. But I was always a late bloomer.”
Harvey has been the shining star for Hayford since his arrival at Eastern Washington, and is well deserving of being selected in the NBA Draft.
Currently, Harvey projects as a mid-second round pick. Although, some would argue he has the potential of a first-round talent, as many have compared his skill set to current Golden State Warrior, Steph Curry.
Like Curry, Harvey did not have the exposure of many top-tier prospects coming out of college, but is intriguing enough for a team to take a gamble on. There aren’t a lack of guards in the NBA that have come from small schools, Elfrid Payton(Lousiana-Lafayette), Damian Lillard(Weber State) and the aforementioned Curry(Davidson) to name a few.
Hopefully, Harvey will soon add his name to that elite list.