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Cal Basketball Targeting 2018 PG Elijah Hardy

Can Cal close the deal with a local point guard?

NCAA Basketball: Pac-12 Conference Tournament-California vs Oregon State Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Fresh off of landing former Bishop O’Dowd point guard Paris Austin as a transfer from Boise State, let’s take a look at Elijah Hardy — a class of 2018 point guard who currently plays for the Dragons of Bishop O’Dowd.

Hardy is listed anywhere from 6’0 to 6’2 and about 160 pounds. Here is where he ranks among the major recruiting services:

  • ESPN: 4 stars, ranked 19th at point guard, ranked 11th overall in California
  • 247Sports: 3 stars, ranked 158th nationally, ranked 30th at PG, ranked 17th in California
  • Scout: 4 stars, ranked 69th overall, ranked 15th at point guard
  • Rivals: 3 stars, 125th overall

After watching some video on Hardy, it was apparent that he has a knack for creating opportunities for his teammates. Also easy to see was that it isn’t smart to trash talk him like number 22 in black did during this video. Hardy (number 2 in orange) completely dominates him for the remainder of the video.

Defensively he does a good job of enticing the opposition to try and pass to #22 and shows the ability to pounce when they take the bait. At 41 seconds of the video a play starts where Hardy devastates #22 with some quick dribbling before firing a bullet of a pass to an open teammate for a three-pointer. Hardy’s passing is particularly impressive as he uses an array of different passes to find his teammates in good spots on the floor. To be fair, the opposition AAU team looks completely overmatched, but that’s what it’s supposed to look like for players of Hardy’s caliber.

If you’re looking for something that shows Hardy being tested a bit more by better competition, then this next one is for you. Bishop O’Dowd played a tough schedule this past season which included a meeting with Chino Hills in the Tarkanian Classic. The matchup with Chino Halls meant Hardy took on top-20 ranked, class of 2019, UCLA-bound point guard LaMelo Ball.

Neither player did a good job of limiting the other with their defense, which isn’t surprising. Hardy had a difficult time keeping up with Ball when screens were set for him, but Hardy was able to score and find his teammates effectively and efficiently in transition. It was a good battle which ended in a 10-point win for Chino Hills. At 5:49 of the video Hardy executes a nice dribble penetration and finishes over a taller defender.

Hardy’s standout quality is definitely his passing. He makes every kind of pass you can imagine and he makes it look easy. His court vision appears to be superb and — when coupled with his dribbling — makes him a good fit for a more up-tempo system new coach Wyking Jones wants to implement at Cal. Hardy would obviously have to improve defensively to be able to run a Louisville-style press should Jones decide to implement that.

Hardy’s ability to create for his teammates would be a great asset to the California Golden Bears offense should he decide to commit to the Bears. Among other schools currently interested in Hardy are USC, Nevada, Saint Mary’s, and Oregon State.

What do you guys think about Hardy as a prospect and how he would potentially fit in with the Bears?