For Notre Dame basketball fans, 2018 has brought some good news: After a tumultuous start to his career, D.J. Harvey has finally arrived.
One of the major concerns coming into the season has been well-documented: the knee health of sophomore wing D.J. Harvey. Notre Dame’s five-star recruit from the 2017 recruiting cycle had a tough start to his career from both a statistical and a health standpoint.
Coming in to the 2017-18 season, expectations were high for Harvey. Many people see that five star rating and expect you to step in and be RJ Barrett or Malik Monk. Unfortunately, that is not typically the case. Those cases are incredibly rare as those are transcendent players at the college level. To expect Harvey to step on the floor and immediately give the Irish 16-20 points per game was simply unrealistic.
The first 15 games of Harvey’s season last year were up and down, to say the least. He logged four games in double figure points and six games with 13 minutes played or less. The most memorable game for Harvey was the game after Bonzie Colson suffered his foot injury. Harvey played 30 minutes, scored 17 points on only 9 field goal attempts, and the Irish won by 30 over North Carolina State.
Over the next four games, Harvey seemed to regress. There were reports of a sore knee, but many were left wondering as he missed the rest of the season. It was then reported he had offseason micro-fracture surgery. In all, Harvey played in 19 games, and averaged 5.8 points and 2.9 rebounds per game.
Coming in to the 2018-19 season, the health of the knee was a hot topic around the Irish program. Micro-fracture surgery is still very unpredictable and some (myself included) thought a medical redshirt was still on the table for this year. Those concerns seem unwarranted thus far in the season as Harvey has played and started both games so far and has played well.
Through two games this season, Harvey has averaged 21.5 minutes, 10.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. After the Chicago St. game, coach Mike Brey stated that he was planning on shortening up the rotation. I would assume that is a direct correlation to how Harvey has responded to his playing time.
So that brings us to this question: Whose minutes will he absorb?
Dane Goodwin seems to be the logical choice given his struggles from the floor, but if you watch the games instead of the box scores you’d know that Dane has actually played pretty well.
Fellow freshman Robby Carmody has started both games this season and is a plus perimeter defender, but is only receiving 17 mpg. He has also had a little bit of trouble protecting the ball with five turnovers in his first 34 minutes played.
It will be interesting to see how (or if) Brey pares down the rotation. Almost all the players who have seen time this season have had moments of brilliance. Senior wing Rex Pflueger has struggled a bit to open the season, but I seriously doubt his moments are in any danger. He will turn it around.
Harvey being a force on the floor only amplifies my confidence that the Irish will dance this year. It took longer than anticipated, but D.J. Harvey has arrived.