Chris Mack and the Xavier staff spent a lot of time tracking Elias Harden during the month of July, and the four-star shooting guard rewarded them on Wednesday when he made his commitment.
Checking in at No. 96 in the nation, Harden brings a quality combination of length, athleticism, and shot making ability. Playing with Game Elite this spring and summer Harden averaged 15.2 points and 4.4 rebounds per game while shooting 41 percent from the floor and 35 percent from three point range.
In the end it was Xavier’s tracking of Harden that proved to be the biggest difference. Georgia also made a strong run for his services, and schools like Ole Miss, Florida, Cincinnati, and Auburn were all involved, but the Musketeers built a strong relationship with Harden and that led to the commitment.
"I chose Xavier because I felt like that school was a comfortable fit for me," said Harden. "I have a great relationship with Coach Mack and Coach (Mike) Pegues."
With the expected departure of numerous backcourt options following this season, Xavier knew it had to focus this July on finding players who were ready to come in and make a difference, and that played a big role in Harden selecting Xavier.
"The coaches said I will play a big role as a freshman, and that is something that I am really looking forward to," he explained.
This is the second commitment for the Musketeers in the class of 2017. Harden joins three-star forward Jared Ridder who committed to the Musketeers in June. Look for the Musketeers to bring in a class that could number as many as six prospects.