James Harden Pulls Trigger

It's hard to argue the fact that James Harden played as well as anyone in the country in the month of July. Exluding a couple of early games at ABCD Camp, he was dominant. Now the Artesia (Calif.) High senior shooting guard has one Pac-10 coach smiling.

Herb Sendek wasted little time adding a big-time transfer after taking over at Arizona State and now he's got a commitment from one of the elite players in the senior class.

Artesia High (Calif.) 6-foot-4 shooting guard James Harden (Scout.com, No. 31) chose the Sun Devils over Washington. Harden joins former Duke big man Eric Boateng as key additions to the program since Sendek made the move to leave N.C. State.

``I watched Coach Sendek's teams at N.C. State and really liked their style of play," Harden said. "They run and gun and shoot a lot of threes. I fit right in with that."

It was a huge get for Sendek and the rest of the new Sun Devils staff. Harden is one of the elite players in the country - and he backed it up with stellar play in July. While his current rank is 31, he is certain to make a significant jump when the new rankings are released later this week.

``I was very comfortable on my visit," Harden added. "Coach Sendek is such a humble guy and he's looking to do the same thing I am: win."

Harden also considered Washington.

``They don't really have any program-changers yet at Arizona State," Harden said. "At Washington, they have a couple of guys like that already. I think I can be a program-changer as a freshman at Arizona State."

Harden was somewhat out of his element early at the ABCD Camp, which is geared more towards selfish play – but he rebounded well for the last couple of days and then stepped up his game for the remainder of July and was arguably the best player in Las Vegas, winning the MVP for the Pump ‘N Run team that won the adidas Super 64.

It also didn't hurt that Sendek recently hired Harden's high school coach at Artesia, Scott Pera, to his staff. However, Harden said that didn't factor all that much into his decision.

``It helped a little bit," Harden admitted. "But it was up to me and wasn't about him at all."

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