September 21, 2011
High School: Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood, CA)
Commitment level: Firm
Position: Small Forward
Height: 6’7 Weight: 200
Scout ranking: N/A
Rivals ranking: N/A
ESPN ranking: 2 star, 85 grade, 34th best player in State
Other Schools Considered: Portland, Santa Clara, St. Mary’s
While a move to the PAC 12 brought plenty of positives for Utah, it also brought the burden of expectations. Thriving as a mid major was no longer enough, especially for the hot and cold basketball program which now is forced to compete with storied schools like Arizona and UCLA. In order to contend Utah is going to need to find diamond in the rough recruits, guys who were, for whatever reason, undervalued. Josh Hearlihy is one of those guys and his commitment to the Utes is a huge win for a new coaching staff.
Now that his college destination is clear lets analyze what Hearlihy’s pledge means for Utah basketball.
Commitment Impact Level: Very High
Josh Hearlihy is a player. It is as simple as that. The kid is a legit 6’7 which gives him great size for the small forward position and he has filled out his body rapidly since he first started seeing action on Varsity as a 10th grader. The lefty as a smooth jump shot with range that extends to the three point line and has an aggressive style of play that you simply can’t teach. He crashes the boards hard on both sides, he attacks the basket with reckless abandon and isn’t afraid to put his body on the line to make a play. Hearlihy is also a gifted passer and is one of those guys who can really jam the stat sheet. More then that, he comes from a prestigious basketball high school and sets up a nice little connection for future Harvard-Westlake stars who might be interested in Utah.
Chance at early playing time: Medium
While Utah already has some depth at the small forward position, Hearlihy will likely force himself into the rotation with his play. Since Josh is one of those guys who can do it all and with the way he passes, he is likely to see action coming off the bench as a freshman. He could very well be in line for a starting spot as a sophomore.
Competition within the recruiting class: Jordan Loveridge
Loveridge was Utah’s first commitment for their 2012 class and is ranked as the number one player in Utah. Loveridge’s style is a little different then Hearlihy because is a thicker built forward who might also see time as a stretch 4, so him and Hearlihy might not be directly competing for playing time.
Notes: Averaged 14.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.9 assists a game as a junior…Josh’s mom is the girls’ basketball varsity coach at Harvard-Westlake…could end up playing against teammate Zena Edosomwan in college as three of Zena’s final five schools (Cal, Washington, USC, Texas, Harvard) also play in the PAC 12
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