Eastern Washington’s Tyler Harvey to turn pro, has not hired agent

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Eastern Washington’s Tyler Harvey , the nation’s leading scorer this season, will explore his draft options this season by declaring for the NBA Draft. He has not signed with an agent, meaning he can pull out if he does not get the information that he wants. However, in a release by Eastern Washington, Harvey says his “mind is made up.”

“When I went home (for spring break) I had a good chance to talk to my family about everything and what happened this year,” Harvey said. “I was fortunate and blessed enough to lead the NCAA in scoring and we had a great year as a team, so we felt like the time was right. We thought this was the best opportunity to pursue a professional career.”

His coach Jim Hayford said that they’d love to have him back, but will support his decision.

“The dream of nearly every elite college player is to make it to the NBA,” said Eastern head coach Jim Hayford of the first team Academic All-American who has a 3.60 grade point average and is one class shy of his degree. “Tyler has our full support and we know he will give it his best.”

Harvey is a very intriguing prospect for a lot of reasons. He’s at No. 62 on my NBA Draft big board right now, and will likely rise into the top-60 once draft choices are made. And regardless of his NBA stock, his stock overseas is going to be extremely high due to his rare offensive skill level.

Obviously, Harvey is a terrific scorer of the basketball, given that he led the nation at 23.1 points per game. He’s an excellent 3-point shooter that made 43 percent of his 600 attempts in his three seasons. Basically you know what you’re getting with Harvey: a guy that can knock down 3-pointers like it’s nothing with a quick trigger, a quick release, and balanced jumper.

He’s also better off of the dribble than he gets credit for though, as he’s in the 99th percentile of all college players in the pick-and-roll scoring. He has great instincts of when to pull up, when to go all the way to the rim, and when to split the defenders to do so. No one in the Big Sky Conference could stay in front of him when he used the screen, and once he got that sliver of space it was all that he needed.

However, there are certainly a lot of questions. First and foremost, is he able to score against better athletes? Jabril Trawick from Georgetown shut him down for about 37 minutes in the Eagles’ NCAA Tournament game. He’ll see physical, long defenders like that every night in the NBA. How will he adjust to it? Second, he’s not a good defender at all, with slow feet and poor instincts. Teams are going to have to hide him on that end of the floor.

Basically, teams are all going to have to judge this in workouts and combine settings, because it’s nearly impossible to gauge from watching Big Sky film (trust me, I’ve tried). He’s athletic enough to get by there, but he’s not athletic in the same, freaky way that Damian Lillard was at Weber State, either. So because of that, determining his athleticism within workouts is going to be the most important part of his process.

Right now, I’d imagine his stock is quite volatile. The shooting ability is always going to get him looks in the second round. But I’d imagine some teams look at his ability off the dribble and think he can be a starter and is worth a first rounder. Others might not buy his athleticism or first step and see him as an late second/undrafted guy.

Currently, I’ve got him in the lower end of that spectrum because I’m not sure I buy it. There are plenty of shooters out there in the NBA D-League who have more definite ancillary skills that they can provide as role players. If reports are good coming out of workouts, it wouldn’t be a total surprise to see him shoot up my board and end up in the first round. But I’d need to see or hear that first.

His draft process will be one of the more interesting ones to track for sure. And that’s only if he stays in, which seems up in the air still.

Tyler Harvey may forego his final year of college eligibility. (USATSI)
Tyler Harvey may forego his final year of college eligibility. (USATSI)

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