NEW YORK – Moe Harkless said a single of the rewards of deciding to leave St. John’s immediately after his freshman season and declare for early entry to the NBA draft was he wouldn’t have to answer any much more concerns.
“I was hearing individuals yelling at me to keep,” he mentioned Monday at his news conference at Madison Square Garden when he was interrupted.
“One Moe year. A single Moe year. You heard me? That was me hiding behind the bush on campus yelling that,” Red Storm coach Steve Lavin said, lastly acquiring a stoic Harkless to break into a smile. “I even tried on the way over right here to convince him to alter his thoughts. He didn’t go for it.”
Harkless, the lynchpin of Lavin’s 1st recruiting class at St. John’s, announced his choice following a 1st and only season with the Red Storm (13-19) that saw him win Big East Rookie of the Year by averaging 15.five points and eight.6 rebounds, which put him sixth and second, respectively, amongst freshmen nationally.
“At the finish of the season I had talks with my mom and coach Lavin,” the 6-foot-8 Harkless mentioned of the time frame in generating the selection. “I came to the conclusion more than the past couple of days.”
Lavin said there had been lots of talks about the selection that included “healthy discussions and some difficult banter.” All the speak left Lavin certain of some things.
“He has the confidence, the conviction and purpose in making this option,” Lavin mentioned.
Harkless, projected as a initial-round draft choose, was part of the five-freshman class that began 12 games for the Red Storm. The season didn’t go as expected for the original nine-man recruiting class. 3 of them weren’t eligible as the season began and Lavin wasn’t in a position to stick to up on his first season at St. John’s, which ended with the school’s first NCAA tournament appearance considering that 2002.
Lavin underwent prostate cancer surgery in October and was on the bench for only four games just before medical doctors told him to comply with a modified schedule that kept away from games.
“I came to St. John’s to play for coach Lavin,” he stated. “Unfortunately the scenario didn’t enable me to play as a lot as I wanted to for him. We nonetheless have a very good connection and he supports me in this selection.”
Lavin stated he told Harkless of the players he coached during his 12 seasons at UCLA who made the exact same move.
“I had Baron Davis, who was a third overall choose, to a player like Jaron Rush, who didn’t get drafted,” Lavin mentioned.
Harkless, who mentioned playing in the NBA has been a lifelong dream, noted none of that matters any more.
“It’s all on me now,” he said.
A number of comments were created in the course of the season that the 208-pound Harkless may have trouble in the NBA due to the fact he is so slight.
“They mentioned the identical issue about me playing in the Big East,” he said with a smile.
Harkless stated he isn’t deep into the approach of hiring an agent but expects to do so soon. His mother, Rosa, reminded him there are other issues ahead of him besides basketball.
“He was straightforward we me via all this,” she stated. “He promised me he will finish and get his degree. As lengthy as he gets his education I’ll support him in whatever he does.”
The last St. John’s player to leave early for the NBA draft was Omar Cook, who was chosen in the second round in 2001
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