Malek Harwell's last season playing on the travel circuit didn't start the way he wanted as he missed several tournaments after tearing his meniscus in April. He did, however, get healthy in time to play during the July recruiting periods and felt pretty good about the way he performed.
"I was just trying to get back into it and get back into the flow of it," Harwell said. "I thought I shot the ball pretty well. My defense was pretty good. My ball handling was a little suspect because I was out so long. As the summer went on, everything started to come back."
Despite the setback with the injury, the three-star from Pocatello, Idaho, still has a lengthy list of schools recruiting him.
"Boise State, Lehigh, Colorado, Portland, Utah State, San Francisco have all offered, and California has been calling. I'm open to everybody still, but I've tried to cut it down a little bit. I've still got Colorado, Boise State, Lehigh, San Francisco and Portland for now."
At this point, Harwell says he knows of two visits he'll be taking. He'll be visiting Boise State on Sept. 6 and Lehigh sometime after that.
Boise State made Harwell a priority early in the recruiting process.
"I like Boise State's program a lot. Their coaching staff is great. I really like those guys because they have been with me throughout the whole process. They are definitely on the rise. They have a couple good recruits coming in."
Lehigh's coaching staff has also done a very good job of keeping in contact with Harwell.
"I like Lehigh a lot. They seem like an Ivy League school, but they aren't. I like [assistant] coach [Ryan] Krueger. He's been the one recruiting me the most. I'm really a big fan of the coaches that stay in contact and recruit me as a priority and build a relationship with me. I put Lehigh on there for that reason. They said they see me as a C.J. McCollum coming in."
Harwell sees Colorado's program as one that is on the rise.
"Colorado has a good program. Coach [Tad] Boyle definitely has it going in the right direction. They had a pretty rough season last year with Spencer Dinwiddie going down. With him, they probably could have gone pretty far in the tournament. They have a lot of good guards, so if I went there, I'd have to go in and really work hard. I'll probably visit there at some point."
California is keeping tabs on Harwell too. They have a familiar face for Harwell on their new coaching staff.
"Yanni [Hufnagel] recruited me at Vanderbilt, and once he got to California, he started recruiting me again. I like them so far. I haven't really talked to Coach [Cuonzo] Martin yet, but it seems like a really good program."
Harwell starts his official visits this weekend with Boise State. He plans to see a few schools and have his recruitment wrapped up before he starts his senior season of high school basketball.
"I want to decide before high school season. I'm going to take my visits and probably decide right after my visits. I'm definitely going to take Boise State, Lehigh and Colorado visits. I'm just looking for a school where I can fit in and impact it right away. I want to go somewhere I have a great relationship with the coaches. I've been looking up and studying what the programs are about. I think my best skill is my shooting and both Boise State and Lehigh are known for their shooters, so those would be good fits for me."
Dan McDonald is a contributing national basketball recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. You can click here to follow him on Twitter.
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