Recruit Jullian Harrell speaks with The DP
M. Hoops | California pre-frosh rejected interest from several non-Ivy schools including Stanford
March 12, 2012, 9:52 pm · Updated March 13, 2012, 12:53 am·
The Quakers’ basketball season isn’t over — and neither is the season of one of their recruits of the Class of 2016.
As The Daily Pennsylvanian continues to talk to players who have committed to Penn, we sat down with Julian Harrell, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard out of Loyola High School in Los Angeles and a former teammate of Penn’s sophomore guard Miles Cartwright.
A plethora of other schools, including well-established rograms such as San Diego State, Stanford and Boston College, showed interest in Harrell. ESPN rated him an 86 overall, and Cali High Sports ranked him No. 19 in the state going into his senior season. Harrell is still trying to lead his team to a California Interscholastic Federation Southern California Championship as Loyola takes on Mater Dei in the semi-finals on March 13.
**_Daily Pennsylvanian:_ What did you like about Penn?
Julian Harrell: I really have a good relationship with the coaching staff. What attracted me the most was the high-level academics, and the connections that can be made while at [Penn].
I would say it was less of a basketball decision, and more of a life decision, but the basketball team is up-and-coming as well. [I have a] good friend, Miles Cartwright, on the team. I really enjoyed my visit, liked the players, liked the rest of the team, liked the whole environment, and of course the Palestra was a very attractive place to want to come play, with all the history.
*DP: Is there something particular about Jerome Allen’s style that you like?*
JH: I really like the way he interacts with the players. He can be very tough on them at times, but from talking to the players and just watching the game, he also kind of lets you play. Of course, he’s a coach, he’s going to want you to do what he wants you to do, but he lets them play basketball.
DP: What do you see as the biggest challenge stemming from the loss of multiple starters next year, and how do you see yourself fitting into a relatively young roster?
JH: The thing about young teams is the only thing that’s really missing is experience of games, but I think we’ll have leaders in the junior class that will have played in big games, so they’ll be able to lead us younger players.
As far as where I fit in, it’s wherever the coaches need me to fit in. I’m not coming in with my mind made up on where I’m going to play and how many minutes I should play. I’m just going to come in, work hard in the summer, be ready when I come, and try to help the team out as much as possible.
*DP: What are your personal goals and your goals for Penn as a team?*
JH: Definitely get back to the top of the Ivy League. Of course, I want to try to make the [NCAA] Tournament every year I’m there … I don’t really have any personal goals yet. I just really want overall team success.
DP: What do you think will be the most difficult aspect to adjust to in Division-I ball?*
JH: Definitely, I need to transition to speed and strength. For the most part, when you’re playing college basketball, it’s the same basketball — I mean it’s still the same sport, but people are bigger and stronger and faster and much quicker. I think that’ll be the biggest challenge … adjusting to the overall speed of the game, because college basketball [has] all players that were top tier at their high school or their area. The level of competition is going to be much different.
*DP: That being said, what do you think has most helped prepare you for Division-I ball?*
JH: I would definitely say playing in the Nike [Elite Youth Basketball League] and playing very competitive travel ball, where most of the people I was playing with would be Division-I players next year. It’s what got me used to playing fast and playing against stronger players.
Also, working with coaches that have been in college and have played in professional leagues. I think they’ve done a good job getting me ready now, but I still have a long way until I’m 100 percent ready for college basketball.