James Harden Still Open

James Harden, a talented junior wing from Southern California, has some Pac-10 and other high major programs recruiting him...

James Harden, 6-5 JR SG/SF Lakewood (Calif.) Artesia, has seen his stock go up this season as much as any player in the West Coast class of 2007.

Harden has a nice lefty stroke with good range, but it's his all-around skills that make him such a terrific prospect. He defends, passes and rebounds very well. Harden also has a very advanced feel for the game.

We spoke with Harden yesterday and asked him about the schools recruiting him so far.

"UCLA, USC, Texas and Washington State are the main ones," said Harden. "But I'm open to other schools."

Previously, Harden told us that Washington State had extended a scholarship offer. We asked if any other schools have offered.

"No, not yet," said Harden.

Harden hasn't taken any unofficial visits yet, but said he may do so after his season ends. Artesia won the CIF Southern Section championship over the weekend and now advances to the state tournament.

Harden talked a little about the factors he'll consider when picking a school.

"The academics have to be good," said Harden. "Someplace with a good team also. I would like to play as a freshman, but if it's someplace with a good situation, and a good coach, then playing time wouldn't be that important."

We asked Harden if he's watched much college basketball this season.

"I've watched the schools recruiting me and a lot of other teams too," said Harden.

We asked if he had learned much about the programs by watching them.

"Yeah, a little," said Harden. "Like, Washington State, they focus on scoring by running their guards off a bunch of screens. Their offense is kind of like our offense."

Previously, Harden told us that he has a 2.9 GPA.

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