Harvey not afraid to make plays at crunch time

Even though his Dominguez Dons fell 51-49 to Pleasure Ridge Park Saturday night at Louisville Gardens, University of Louisville signee Bryan Harvey made a strong impression with the Panthers' players and coaches and showed why Rick Pitino expects him to make an immediate impact next season for the Cardinals.

Bryan Harvey and Compton Dominguez came up just short Saturday night against Pleasure Ridge Park in the night-cap of the Louisville Scholastic Classic, falling to the Panthers 51-49.

Still, Harvey, who finished with 13 points, two rebounds, two steals, two blocked shots and an assist, enjoyed playing in the city he'll call home next year.

"It was a great thing to see all of the Louisville fans and my future coaches at the game," Harvey said afterward. "It's too bad we came up short."

Louisville coach Rick Pitino and assistant Reggie Theus, who recruited Harvey, were courtside for the action. Harvey, who made 5-of-14 shots on the night, including 3-of-7 behind the arch, said his focus was on the Panthers, not his future coach looking on.

"Before the game I was thinking about it but during the game I was just focused on playing," said Harvey.

Pitino said prior to the game that he expects the 6-foot-5 Harvey to help replace the Cardinals departing perimeter players next season. And Harvey fully expects to do just that.

"I think if I go in there and do the things I'm supposed to there's no reason why I can't go in there and contribute next season," explained Harvey. "I need to work on my strength but I think I shoot and handle the ball well enough [to help]."

"He's so tough to guard," PRP assistant Larry Kihnley said. "We tried to stay close to him all night and keep a hand in his face but he would just jump up and shoot over our defenders. He's a good player."

Harvey showed against the Panthers Saturday night that he's capable of scoring from anywhere. Besides his three long-range bombs, he hit the mid-range jumper and there's no question about his ability to finish above the rim - as his alley-oop slam out of a timeout brought the crowd to it's feet.

The 190-pounder also showed he's not afraid to take - and make - the big plays at crunch time. Trailing by four with 12-seconds remaining, Harvey nailed a deep, contested three to cut PRP's lead to 48-47. Just seconds before, Harvey made a key block with the score tied at 44.

"It was nothing special, I just hit the shot," a humble and modest Harvey said of his late three-pointer.

"He's good," said PRP standout JuJuan Spillman, who was closely guarding Harvey when he drained the late three-pointer. "That shot at the end was big-time. My hands were right [in his face] and I couldn't play better defense than that except to foul him. He's real good and he has a nice outside jumpshot."

While Harvey still has two months of high school ball to complete before turning his attention to next season, Harvey said he's having no second thoughts about his college decision - even with the cold temperatures in Louisville this weekend.

"Oh, no. I'm just looking forward to coming out here and playing with great teammates and coaches - in front of the great fan support," Harvey said. "People that go off to college all the time have to adjust to different climates. The weather is not a factor."

Asked why he decided to give up the sun and warmth of southern California for the sometime frigid condidtions in Louisville, Harvey gave the explanation nearly all Louisville recruits point to when asked such questions.

"To me it was a big selling point," Harvey said of Pitino's NBA background. "You always want to play for a great coach with a lot of NBA experience."

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