Pac-10 Offers for Harden

James Harden, a 6-4 junior wing from Lakewood (Calif.) Artesia, recently received an offer from a Pac-10 program. Numerous other high majors are also involved with or getting interested in Harden...

James Harden, 6-4 JR SG/SF Lakewood (Calif.) Artesia, is a player who has steadily improved over the last couple years and he's now become one of the top wings in the West Coast class of 2007.

Harden is a very good shooter with deep range, but does need to quicken up his release. He's got an outstanding feel and plays the game the right way, consistently making good decisions. He's a deceptive athlete and his explosiveness has improved over the last year. Harden isn't great at any one thing, but he's good at just about everything. He's a good passer, rebounds well for his size and he's a solid defender.

We spoke with Harden over the weekend and asked him about the schools he's heard from so far.

"Washington State just offered," said Harden. "UCLA has started to get real interested. USC, UConn, Georgia Tech and Texas are the other ones. Both USC and UCLA have said they were going to offer, but haven't yet."

We asked Harden if location would play a big role in his decision.

"That doesn't really matter," said Harden. "It's the academics that matter more.

When asked about the issue of early playing time, Harden replied, "Yeah, I think about it, but whatever is the best spot for me. I would like to come in and play."

We asked Harden if any school stands out from the pack.

"No, I don't have a leader right now," said Harden.

Harden told us he has a 2.9 GPA and plans on taking the SAT next month.


Also, to keep an eye on

D.J. Gay, 6-0 JR PG Sun Valley (Calif.) Poly, has a scorer's mentality and he can put up points in a hurry. We saw him have a terrific game earlier this season at the Westchester tournament and he's played very well so far this season.

We spoke with Gay recently and he told us about the schools that have been showing interest in him.

"Cornell, Cal State Fullerton, San Jose State and Cal State Northridge are the main ones right now," said Gay. "They've all been calling me and Cornell has been to a few practices."

We asked Gay if he'd like to play college ball in the west.

"I'd kind of like to leave California," said Gay. "Maybe someplace like Oregon, Montana or Idaho. Someplace more rural."

Gay said a school with good academics is an important consideration for him.

We asked how his family feels about him going away.

"My Dad would kind of like to see me stay close, but they want me to go wherever I'll be happy," said Gay.

Gay said a Pac-10 program was his favorite when he was growing up.

"I always liked Arizona, how their guards played and their style," said Gay.

Gay doesn't see himself making a decision in the near future.

"I'd like to decide sometime after July," said Gay.

An excellent student, Gay currently has a 3.7 GPA.


Bruin Report Online Top Stories