WESTFIELD, Ind. - D.J. Harvey sees another move in his recruitment about to happen.
Harvey, a five-star small forward from Hyattsville, Md., cut his list to a top 16 back in the winter. Alabama, Arizona, Arizona State, Duke, Louisville, Maryland, N.C. State, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, UCLA, UConn and Villanova all made the list.
Now Harvey feels like the time has come to knock more programs off and send the list into single digits. That will be one way to ease the process.
“I have pretty much everybody except like Kentucky and Michigan State,” Harvey said. “It hasn’t really slowed down much. If anything, it’s built up. Now that the 2016 class is done they’re focused on the 2017 class.”
Harvey listed Notre Dame, Texas, UConn, Arizona, Duke and Villanova as virtual locks to make the next cut after helping Team Takeover to a 73-63 win over King James on Friday in the first game of the second EYBL session.
He also noted there are other programs likely safe, although they didn’t come immediately to mind.
Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey helped assure that position by watching Harvey and point guard Chris Lykes, another Irish target, on Friday with Team Takeover.
“Most of their staff is from DeMatha,” Harvey said. “There’s a relationship already there. We talk almost every day and he comes down to school and watches me. It’s coach Brey, not usually an assistant. I have a lot of trust in coach Brey.”
Harvey sees in Brey a coach that could potentially develop his abilities to the maximum. He also connects with Brey’s personality.
“Every time I go there and he comes out here, we talk all the time,” Harvey said. “It’s easy to approach him and just talk to him about things other than basketball.”
Notre Dame hosted Harvey in the fall for a football weekend. Harvey followed up by watching the Irish throughout their season and into the NCAA tournament.
Returning to the Elite Eight for a second straight season validated Notre Dame as a suddenly consistent postseason performer. Winning, perhaps more than anything, can catch Harvey’s attention.
“It means everything,” he said. “If you don’t win you don’t get the exposure and if you don’t win the game doesn’t become fun anymore. Winning is everything. That gets kids like me to look at schools like that.”
Harvey not only played in front of Brey on Friday but dozens of other head coaches. He scored 13 points as Takeover rallied from an early double-digit deficit to win. Even with his recruitment steadily busy, Harvey doesn’t often peek into the stands to see who’s watching.
“If you get caught up in thinking about the coaches and everything you’re not gonna perform as well,” Harvey said. “Just go out there, pretend they’re not there.”