I unfortunately bought the D.J. Harvey hype. We all did.
Remember Riley Neal? (It hasn’t been that long, but some of you may have blocked it from your memory.) The transfer quarterback came in as a three-year starter at Ball State with a lot of hype, and the thought was that he would be a ready-made replacement for Kyle Shurmur. Instead, we were treated to something much less than that, a guy who got yanked for a walk-on about midway through the 2019 season (leading, ironically, to Vanderbilt’s only SEC win) and a lot of head scratching about whether the people who claim to know things actually know anything.
D.J. Harvey is kind of the basketball version of that. He came in as a former Top 50 recruit and the third-leading scorer at an ACC school, and then he had a redshirt year to work on his game. Instead, what we actually got was the above stat line. And actually, that might be overstating things: in SEC play, Harvey shot a ghastly 29.7 percent on two-pointers and a not-great 32.6 percent on three-pointers, while losing his spot in the starting lineup midway through January. Following the Arkansas game, Harvey proceeded to score 18 points in the next eight games.
It’s possible that an early-season bout with COVID-19 (which caused Harvey to miss two games against Mississippi Valley State and Richmond) just completely derailed his season; supporting this notion was Harvey’s performance in the SEC Tournament, in which he scored 29 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in two games. But in terms of the overall product, by the end of the season it was hard to make the argument that Harvey was a better player than Jordan Wright, a guy ranked outside the top 300 as a recruit whom Vanderbilt had to beat out Tulane for.
Again, sometimes I question whether the people who claim to know things actually know anything. Harvey’s Vanderbilt career is done after a single season in Nashville; after the season, he announced that he would be going to Detroit Mercy as a graduate transfer.