All-America junior guard will begin preparations for the NBA Draft in June while finishing college degree online
Tyler Harvey is going to pursue the opportunity of a lifetime while finishing his college degree.
The Eastern Washington University men's basketball junior guard announced on Wednesday (April 1) his intention to declare for the National Basketball Association Draft on June 25. He will return home to Torrance, Calif., this week, complete his communications degree online and begin preparations for the journey that lies ahead.
"When I went home (for spring break) I had a good chance to talk to my family about everything and what happened this year," Harvey said. "I was fortunate and blessed enough to lead the NCAA in scoring and we had a great year as a team, so we felt like the time was right. We thought this was the best opportunity to pursue a professional career."
"The dream of nearly every elite college player is to make it to the NBA," said Eastern head coach Jim Hayford of the first team Academic All-American who has a 3.60 grade point average and is one class shy of his degree. "Tyler has our full support and we know he will give it his best."
Harvey said he has not yet hired an agent and hasn't totally ruled out returning to EWU for his senior season, but said "as of now my mind is made up." The NCAA only gives underclassmen until April 12 to submit paperwork to technically withdraw his name from the NBA Draft. Harvey has until April 26 to notify the NBA of his intention of being an early-entry candidate.
"If, after going through the process, the best thing for Tyler is to stay one more year at EWU then that option is available to him," said Hayford of the very short window of opportunity for that to occur. "He has done everything we have ever asked of him in the classroom and on the floor. He has been an exemplary student-athlete."
Once the April 26th declaration date passes, Harvey may begin conducting workouts with NBA teams starting on April 29. He has also consulted the NBA's Undergraduate Advisory Committee, a group composed of 20 NBA team executives who will eventually provide Harvey a confidential projection of his likely draft position.
Regardless of the direction he ultimately goes, the next three months will prove to be very enlightening as Harvey finds out how his talents stack up. The NBA Draft Combine is in Chicago on May 12-17 and the draft is June 25 in New York.
"I don't know – that's always the fear of the unknown," Harvey said when asked about his journey between now and June 25. "Hopefully everything works out for the best and I'm going to work my tail off to better my chances."
"Don't bet against Tyler," added Hayford. "He has a way of quieting the critics and achieving great things."
Harvey was a walk-on to the Eastern program in the fall of 2011 in Hayford's first year as head coach. After a redshirt season and playing sparingly in EWU's first 13 games, he has been a high-scoring mainstay for the Eagles ever since. He led NCAA Division I in scoring (23.1) and 3-pointers made per game (4.00) this season.
"Tyler has been a tremendous asset to the Eastern community for the past four years," added Eastern athletic director Bill Chaves. "We wish him the best moving forward and appreciate everything he has accomplished. We are a better basketball program, athletic department and University because of Tyler."
Rodney Stuckey, who is now in his eighth season in the NBA, declared following his sophomore season on April 25, 2007, his intention to pursue an NBA career. But NCAA rules eight years ago gave him until June 18 to change his mind and return to EWU. However, he hired an agent on May 23 and was eventually drafted 15th overall by Detroit, where he spent his first seven seasons as a pro before moving to the Indiana Pacers this season.
Besides Stuckey, Ron Cox is the only previous NBA draftee from Eastern. He was a sixth-round draft choice by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 1977, but did not play in a regular season NBA game because of reconstructive surgery on his left ankle.
Because of Harvey's early departure, Cox will remain Eastern's all-time leading scorer a bit longer. He had 1,741 points from 1974-77, with Harvey right behind with 1,564. Stuckey scored 1,438 in two seasons (fifth all-time), including 726 in 2006 to set the school record broken by Harvey with 738 this season. Stuckey had the third-most points in school history with 712 in 2007 and Harvey is fourth with 677 in 2014.
A year ago, Martin Seiferth left Eastern before his senior season to return to his native Germany to play for Alba Berlin in the Basketball Bundesliga (Federal Basketball League), the highest level of professional club basketball in Germany.
More About Harvey . . .
Eastern Washington University junior guard Tyler Harvey was selected by Associated Press on March 30 as an honorable mention All-America selection after his record-breaking season as the leading scorer in NCAA Division I. He became the third player in EWU's 32 seasons as a member of NCAA Division I to earn honorable mention All-America honors from Associated Press. Alvin Snow was the first in 2004, and Rodney Stuckey was chosen in 2006 and 2007. Stuckey, who now plays for the Indiana Pacers in the NBA, was also an Academic All-America selection in 2007.
Previously in the 2014-15 season, Harvey was a first team Academic All-America selection, and was a repeat member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches All-District 6 squad – earning first team accolades this season after second team honors as a sophomore.
Harvey was also one of 16 finalists for the Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year, and is also one of 31 finalists for the Lou Henson Award given to the nation's top mid-major player. As a result, he was recognized on the Lou Henson All-America team.
In addition, Harvey was a first team selection on the All-Big Sky Conference team for the second-straight season. He helped the Eagles close the year 26-9 on the season after finishing 14-4 in the Big Sky Conference to share the regular season title with Montana. Eastern swept through three games in the Big Sky Conference Tournament to garner the school's second NCAA Tournament appearance in school history. The Eagles finished with program bests for victories overall (26), in the Big Sky (14), on the road (11) and in non-conference play (9) in 32 seasons as a member of NCAA Division I.
A junior from Torrance, Calif., Harvey led NCAA Division I with a 23.1 scoring average, and closed the year with Big Sky and EWU single season records for season 3-pointers with 128. His 738 points were a school record and ranked fourth in league history.
In addition, Harvey was selected as the MVP of the Big Sky Conference Tournament after averaging 23.0 points, 2.7 assists and 2.0 steals per game in three games while making 10-of-24 3-point shots (41.7 percent) and 22-of-43 overall (51.2 percent). Jois was also selected to the all-tournament team after averaging 12.3 points and 8.3 rebounds per outing while making 16-of-24 shots from the field for 66.7 percent.
In equaling the Big Sky Tournament record with 42 points against Idaho, Harvey had his fifth game of the season and 11th of his career with at least 30 points, and his 40th-straight game scoring in double figures (snapped when he scored nine versus Sacramento State the next night). His 42 ranks third in school history behind the 45 of Rodney Stuckey (versus Northern Arizona on 1/5/06) and 44 of David Peed (versus UC Irvine on 12/13/88). His 42 points tied the tourney record of 42 set by Anthony Johnson of Montana in 2010, and passed the 38 Stuckey had versus Portland State in 2006, which now ranks fourth all-time.
In NCAA statistics through March 30, Harvey led NCAA Division I in scoring offense (23.1 points per game) and 3-pointers per game (4.00), and was 14th in 3-point shooting percentage (43.1 percent) and 44th in free throw percentage (.852).
Besides his on-the-court achievements, Harvey was selected on Feb. 26 as a first team selection on the 2014-15 Capital One Academic All-America® team for NCAA Division I as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Harvey was one of five players to be named to the first team, and is EWU's initial first team selection in school history. He has a 3.60 grade point average as a communications studies major. Eastern has had just three other Academic All-America selections since moving from the NAIA to the NCAA in the early 1980's. Rodney Stuckey, now playing for the Indiana Pacers in the NBA, was a third team selection in 2007 as EWU's first-ever selection as a member of Division I. Dave Henley, a graduate of Shadle Park High School in Spokane, earned second team accolades in 1982 and was a third team pick in 1981 when EWU was in NCAA Division II. On Feb. 25, Harvey was the recipient of a "Keeper of the Dream" award from EWU's Africana Studies department.