Saturday, September 17, 2011

Cornell Receives Verbal Commitment from Holt Harmon

Holt Harmon (Plano West HS) Plano, TX, 6-9, F, committed to Cornell during homecoming weekend.

Harmon, a 240 pound power forward had offers from more than 30 Division I programs and narrowed his choices to Cornell, Utah State, Cal Santa Barbara (UCSB), and Boston U before committing to Cornell during homecoming weekend according to several sources. Harmon canceled his scheduled visits to his other finalists after committing to Cornell. According to and, the other schools recruiting Harmon included: Penn, Army, Western Kentucky, Air Force, Citadel, Pepperdine, UC Davis, American, Lehigh, Iona, Furman, and Arkansas State.

The Cornell Basketball Blog spoke with Harmon's high school coach, Anthony Morgan of Plano West High School about Harmon's recruitment and skill set. Morgan indicated that in addition to the schools listed above, he fielded calls from Texas, Arizona, Oklahoma State, Cal, USC, Gonzaga and Missouri State. And the list of interest did not surprise him either. He indicated that Harmon received double digit offers after some stellar play in Las Vegas, He also noted that Penn tried to make a late push to get Harmon, but the recruit was locked in on Cornell. When asked which schools were most serious about him and worked the hardest to recruit him, in addition to making offers, Morgan listed Western Kentucky, Utah State, UCSB, Boston University and American.

As a junior at Plano West, Harmon averaged 10.8 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game on route to being named 2nd Team All District (8-5A). Morgan said, "Our team was very balanced scoring [indicating he had several Division I players on his team in recent seasons]." He continued, "Holt is really skilled, he shoots 'the three,' he's great on the blocks, dymanic turnaround jumpshot, he defends, willing to bang and put a body on the opponent. He's also such a strong kid, benches more than 265-270 pounds, he is an easily at least 6'8" 245 [indicating that Harmon is probably accurately listed at 6'9" in sneakers]."

As a senior, Harmon was named 1st Team All District (8-5A) and All Region by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches and participated in the Showboat Classic All Star Game in Addison, Texas.  He also participated in the Faith 7 Bowl involving an All Star Texas Team pitted against Oklahoma All Stars.

When we asked Morgan if Harmon was a power player or a finesse player, Morgan sort of chuckled and said, "He's actually both." Morgan added, "His real talent is passing, just such a great interior passer and he'll find you on the perimeter." When asked about his free throw shooting, Morgan did not pause, "Outstanding. He shot at least 83% for us last year, you want him on the line."

When asked about Harmon's weaknesses or areas needed for improvement, Morgan had to think. "Well, there is not much, I mean, with big guys, they can always work on their footwork and post moves, but Holt's solid. He's not your overpowering super athlete, playing above the rim, but he is a great player." wrote on September 4, 2011 of Holt Harmon:
Harmon played with a lot of fire while playing for one of the top summer teams in the country [during 2011]. Playing with Texas Assault, Harmon pushed himself to be better and he said that college coaches liked what they saw. "The coaches loved my toughness," said Harmon. "I never backed down from players that I was playing against, and I wasn't scared. I also showed my skill from the outside, but I still took the ball on the block." Harmon continues with what he learned from playing with Texas Assault. "I learned that if you want something out on the court, you need to compete. I played with a bunch of guys that wanted to win, so I had to do my part. We all played together and not like individuals. We had a common goal and--winning."
Head coach of the Assault squad, Vonzell Thomas recognized Harmon's dedication and improvements over the summer and told, "Holt showed that he wanted to win. He worked harder than he ever has and improved his overall game. Having Holt out on the court is like having another coach. His basketball IQ is one of his attributes that doesn't get mentioned. He plays with a high skill level that gives him a lot of advantage, because of his size." ranks Harmon as the No. 32 prospect in Texas, a state that typically produces roughly one hundred (100) Division I players per year. and describes Harmon as, "Holt is a thick and strong player with a good inside/outside game. He can catch and shoot it from the 3 point line, has a nice touch from 15 foot, can score on the low block with strong moves and can operate as a pick and pop player. He has the size and strength to hold his position down low, is a good passer, moves well for his size, is an intense player and goes to the board hard."

Harmon was also ranked No. 12 in the Dallas Metroplex area by

See the story on Harmon's commitment to Cornell in the Plano Star.

Below,'s September 4, 2011 story on Holt Harmon followed by the story recapping his commitment to Cornell:

Below some highlight videos of Holt Harmon:

Below, highlights from when Harmon was a starter for his elite AAU team, Texas Assault, which faced Dream Vision of California in the Adidas Super 64 Championship Game in Las Vegas, Nevada this past summer. The game which featured multiple top 100 recruits was televised on CBS College Sports. Harmon's first half performance propelled Texas to the 93-78 championship victory.

(Updated 4.2.12)


Aaron Osgood said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Some have compared him to former Yale forward, Mike Sands. He's strong and highly skilled. Not an uber-athlete, but combines some of the best traits of Tyler and Jon Jaques (inside-outside).

Anonymous said...

looks like a poor man's Kevin Love

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Pretty good comparison to Love, but he's more skilled. He can dribble and shoot from the perimeter. But like love, terrific passer.

Cornell got a good one over Utah State, one of America's elite programs.

USU has been to the NCAA or the NIT in each of the last 12 years (8 NCAA appearances) and has won 21+ games in each of those 12 seasons. Cornell won a good recruiting war over a team that is better than most BCS teams.

Anonymous said...

He's more skilled than Kevin Love? we got ourselves a future NBA all star then. Great snag bill and co.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Love is skilled, but he is also MUCH MUCH stronger and more athletic, and strength and athleticism are what get you to the NBA.

Anonymous said...

CCB: "Pretty good comparison to Love, but he's more skilled." I hope that your statement "he's more skilled" in that sentence refers to Love; otherwise, you're losing touch with reality.

Seems like a nice pickup, but not as big an impact player as Kenyatta Smith.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Kenyatta is a pure banger without a perimeter game. He is wide but just 6'7".

Harmon can step out or go inside.

They are different players, just like Evan Cummins is very different than Kenyatta.

Anonymous said...

Nice pickup; we need the size. Are there any "program changing" players in play for us? By that I mean a legit BCS-caliber starter.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...


Anonymous said...

Get this kid on the AT calf raiser program and I smell 18-12 every night outta this big boy. Just imagine a combo of Kevin Love and Alex Tyler. Championship, book it.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Holt Harmon is a BCS level player. But he wanted high academics.

Just for some perspective, Harmon is ranked No. 32 in Texas. No. 26 is headed to Richmond, No. 22 to Texas A&M, #19 to New Mexico and #17 to Kansas.

There are dozens of D-I players in Texas ranked by Holt Harmon.

Anonymous said...

Are there more high profile players than Harmon considering the Big Red? Or was he the top recruiting target?

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Not going to use the phrase "the top target" but there are other big time recruits involved with lots of scholarship offers.

TJ said...

We have gotten some terrific commitments already this year, especially from players with size. This is very exciting for the future.

Anonymous said...

Alex Tyler was a nice role player who added toughness. But a player like him certainly won't take a program to new heights. If that's the comparison, I'm not all that excited (and I mean no disrespect whatsoever to AT).

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Some of you need to get a grasp on reality.

This is a MAJOR pick up by the standards of ANY Ivy League school. Again, major pick up.

He's skilled, he's ALREADY big at 240 lbs. and has another year of high school to go, he's between 6'8" and 6'9" and had more than 30 offers already, including from a team that has regularly appeared in the AP and Coaches Top 25 (not some doormat BCS team). He's played for arguably the VERY BEST AAU team in the country and plays in arguably one of the top ten public school leagues in the country. He's well coached, and he's not soft, he is a tough guy, just what we want.

Harmon's only "weakness" if you want to call it a "weakness" is his level of athleticism. He's not your off-the-charts athlete that you might find at a top 15 program like Kentucky. But he's rock solid fundamentally and you can take a guy at his level and go to battle with any team in the country.

We've spoken already in the last 24 hours with four Division I coaches (all non Cornell), all of whom called him outstanding.

He will be a dynamite "4" man for us in our league. But Cornell is not done. This is just one brick in the foundation the Big Red are building.

Anonymous said...

Sounds exciting. Kudos to Coach Courtney.

Anonymous said...

book it.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good pickup.

I know heights are exaggerated consistently in basketball, but I'll be shocked if he's within 3 inches of 6'9".

So which of the recruits so far have the chance to be in the top 8 of the rotation freshman year?

Anonymous said...

All true Cornell bball fans know about Tyler's clutch-ness. Miracle at Lavietes Feb 2008 anybody? I watched that live

Anonymous said...

CBB, you have told us that the recruiting services focus on high school kids from metropolitan areas who play for high profile AAU teams.

Given Harmon is from Plano, and playing for what you say might be the very best AAU team, whats with the lack of love from ESPN, etc?

Especially given his many other offers, that seems strange.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Sometimes these recruiting services fail to fill out a profile on a recruit.

In the case of Harmon, he is well known by most colleges. He's not a hidden quantity. Even the schools that did not recruit him probably knew him. So no real explanation as to why ESPN missed the boat on him.