The verbal commitment of 6-foot-5, 185-pound shooting guard D.J. Harvey to Notre Dame is an infusion of basketball talent and pure athletic ability that is never easy for the Irish to land.
Harvey, Scout’s No. 8 shooting guard and No. 43 overall prospect from familiar Irish stomping ground DeMatha Catholic in Hyattsville, Md., is a multi-skilled offensive player who will help Notre Dame in a variety of ways.
Athletically, he may not be quite in the caliber of Jerian Grant just yet, although he’s certainly trending that way with a scoring skillset much advanced to Grant’s compared to when Grant was coming out of DeMatha.
Harvey is not Grant, who was just as comfortable in a facilitator role as he was as an assertive scoring option. Harvey is a scorer from outside, on pull-ups and around the basket; Grant was a slasher and a quality shooter coming off screens. Grant didn’t have the pull-up game that Harvey possesses, just as Harvey doesn’t have the distributor gene that Grant owns.
Harvey has finishing skills around the basket with both hands, although if you give him an opening, his vertical skills allow him to flush with ease. He truly is an inside-outside threat. He has ball-on-a-string ball-handling skills, which allows him to penetrate with either hand and finish on either side of the rim.
His control of the basketball creates a variety of shots around the basket. When a defender seals off penetration, Harvey has high-level pull-up jumper skills with a quick release and a soft touch.
That’s one of the great things about Harvey’s shooting ability. The release is very quiet and uncomplicated. The basketball arrives at the rim softly, which invites it to go through the hoop. He can catch-and-shoot in a heartbeat.
Harvey has outstanding verticality on his jump shot. He controls his weight, gets his upper body under his lower body and doesn’t drift. If Harvey penetrates and is cut off, he has a variety of lean-in moves off the pivot that allow him to score and get the defender in the air. If he draws the foul, his free-throw procedure is even softer and quieter than his jump shot.
The word from the spring was that it wasn’t his best performance/effort on the circuit. He also had to accede to an upperclassman last season – Markelle Fultz – who chose the Washington Huskies. Harvey, particularly as he works his way into Notre Dame’s system, will not be asked to take a back seat offensively.
This is a dynamic, difference-making offensive player who is a 1,000-point scorer for the Irish. If all goes well, projecting 1,500 points over a four-year span is by no means an overly ambitious expectation.
This is an A+ catch for Mike Brey and his lead recruiter, Rod Balanis.
Check out D.J. Harvey in action: